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How a Criminal History May Play Into Your Divorce

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

North Carolina is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. This means that for a spouse to obtain an “absolute divorce” from another spouse, the spouse does not need to prove the other spouse engaged in any sort of misconduct that resulted in the divorce. Instead, courts may grant a divorce upon a finding that the couple has been separated for a full year. Nevertheless, this does not mean that a spouse’s actions during a marriage have no bearing on the issues relating to a divorce. In fact, many people make mistakes and have some form of criminal history, which makes it important to understand the ways that this history may play into a divorce. Criminal Activity Can Bear on Alimony Judgments One of the significant aspects that a …

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The Legal Ramifications of Adultery

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Adultery is an incredible breach of marital trust that many marriages simply cannot survive. Beyond the massive emotional toll and the dissolution of a family that can result from adultery, there are very real legal consequences. If your spouse has engaged in this violation or if you are being accused of it, then it is worth your time to explore these legal consequences. Alimony Accounts for Adultery North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, which means to obtain an absolute divorce, a spouse does not need to prove anything other than a year-long separation. However, when it comes to spousal support, courts are not only free to consider adultery, but a judge may be required to consider it. Under the North Carolina General Statutes, the court weighs “illicit sexual behavior” …

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North Carolina Defenses Against Alimony

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Sarah Hink

The events that lead to a divorce can sometimes be really unpleasant. The distrust, the accusations, and the misconduct that can end a relationship can unfortunately escalate as couples proceed toward their divorce and try to resolve their legal issues. Some couples are surprised to discover that North Carolina is a no-fault state when it comes to obtaining a divorce. This means that to obtain a divorce from a judge, a spouse only needs to prove that the couple has been separated for at least a year. Alimony is different. In fact, under the alimony laws of North Carolina, if a court “finds that the supporting spouse participated in an act of illicit sexual behavior” “during the marriage and prior to or on the date of separation, then the court …

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Alimony and Social Media

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Carly Baker

The social media era has veered us into a brave new world of over-sharing our lives. With Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter at our fingertips, it is so easy to instantaneously transmit our words, photos, and videos to everyone we’ve ever known. Unfortunately, this access has also led to countless careers and lives ruined. Just look at James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy director whose years-old vulgar Tweets cost him his job, or at swimmer Ryan Lochte, whose swimming career has possibly ended due to an Instagram he posted while receiving a prohibited IV treatment. The risks that are associated with social media also come into play when it comes to resolving the end of a marriage. North Carolina Divorces are No-Fault When couples divorce in North Carolina, they …

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What to Bring to Your Initial Consultation

In Child Custody, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Beyond the emotional toll that comes with a separation or a dispute over child custody, there is the practical aspect of reaching a legal and enforceable resolution that will help you move forward with your life. In reaching this resolution, many people find it critical to retain the services of an attorney for advice, for information, and for advocacy. It really does you no harm to at least consult with an attorney. In fact, failing to utilize an attorney regarding property division, alimony, or child custody can be detrimental to your financial future or even your parent-child relationship. This is due to the risks of missed deadlines, waiving legal rights, and getting taken advantage of by your spouse’s attorney. What to Bring to Your Initial Consultation On that note, if …

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Never Agree to Spousal Support Without an Attorney

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Separation and divorce can be expensive. One or both of you have to move out of your home, you have to pay rent and utilities at a second place while also paying the mortgage of your home, and you have to furnish your new place and have furniture for your children when they visit. In addition, you are facing the looming reality of paying spousal support, child support, and dividing marital property. You therefore seek to save money wherever you can. Sadly, some people choose to save money by representing themselves when it comes to issues like spousal support. This is a mistake, as some spouses end up agreeing to ill-advised spousal support agreements. For example, if your spouse has an attorney, you need one too. Your spouse’s attorney only …

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Defending Against False Marital Misconduct Claims

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

To state things mildly, separation and divorce can be an intense and bitter experience. Whatever sequence of events or acts that led to the separation, some spouses are absolutely set on taking the other spouse down and having their “day in court.” Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to spouses getting carried away and making false marital misconduct claims against the other spouse. So the question of the day is: should you let a false claim stand or is there a way to defend yourself? What is Marital Misconduct? Marital misconduct is defined in the North Carolina as improper acts that occur before or on the date of a married couple’s separation including: sexual infidelity; a spouse’s criminal act; abandonment; “malicious turning out of doors;” cruel treatment that endangered the other spouse’s …

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Is There an Alimony Calculation?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

When couples decide to divorce in North Carolina, one of the issues that can arise is that of spousal support. This is an entirely separate issue from property division (also known as equitable distribution) and from child support. If a spousal support agreement cannot be reached, a spouse can file a lawsuit asking a judge to award postseparation support or alimony. In our years of experience, alimony proceedings can be a harsh and bitter fight. If you are considering a divorce or are separated with the intention of divorcing, it is a good idea to begin mentally preparing for the issues of alimony. We frequently hear the following questions: How much should I expect to pay or receive in alimony? Is there an alimony calculation that courts implement? Unlike child …

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The Impacts of Changes in Your Employment

In Child Support, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Life is fluid. Our best-laid plans are subject to this fluidity and for better or worse, and we have to make adjustments in our lives when things change. One big area of our lives that can create havoc—or can be really positive—is when there is a significant change in our employment status. Our jobs are our lifelines. We rely on our careers as a part of our identities and rely on the income to make ends meet. If you are divorced and are in the role of a supporting spouse, you also rely on your income to make alimony and child support payments. So what should you do, then, if you experience a significant change in income? Alimony Can be Modified Alimony orders can be modified upon the demonstration of …

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Abandonment versus Separation

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Everyone handles the deterioration of their marriage differently. Some couples try for years to work things out through couples therapy and varying levels of effort on the part of each spouse. Other couples end things quickly—ranging from an amicable to explosively contested separation. Another possible scenario involves a spouse abandoning the other spouse. To become legally divorced in North Carolina, a couple must be separated for a full year before they can obtain a no-fault divorce. However, just because divorces are no-fault does not mean that marital misconduct is irrelevant. It is important to understand that separation and abandonment are not the same things, and that abandonment can actually have a significant impact on spousal support and child custody awards. Abandonment and Alimony A spouse can demonstrate that abandonment occurred …