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Working and Divorce

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Sarah Hink

Everyone wants it all: love, a happy family, children, a sense of greater purpose, community, career success, and wealth. In reality, a lot of people discover that for them, the concept of a work-life balance to be a complete sham. Even the most organized and “put-together” people have trouble meeting their own expectations when it comes to the demands of marriage, children, and career. It becomes even harder to find any sort of satisfactory balance when you are experiencing a separation and divorce. It is, however, possible to take steps to adjust and survive with your career intact. Know your limits. First, it is important to acknowledge that you are in a traumatic process and that you are not at your best. This means that you have permission to do …

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What Might Your Visitation Schedule Look Like?

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

When you separate from your children’s other parent, you all enter into a new and unfamiliar world of custody and visitation schedules. It is an adjustment for everyone, as parents want to maximize their time with their kids but are now limited in doing so. The children can also struggle with the adjustment of seeing each parent less and often having to spend nights in different homes. If you are in this difficult process, it is important to be prepared—not only for your own sake but also for your children’s. How Custody Schedules Come About Parents can reach a legally binding agreement regarding custody or visitation with their children, or if they cannot agree, they can file a lawsuit to ask a judge to make a determination regarding custody and …

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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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What Happens to Debt When I Divorce?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

When most people think about property division and divorce, they usually think about money, houses, investments, business interests, retirement, and personal property. This is natural, as the title is “property division” and the ultimate question is: who walks away with what? Despite the focus on property, another critical question that must be resolved when dividing property is: what happens to debt? North Carolina is an Equitable Distribution State Property division in North Carolina is referred to as “equitable distribution.” This means that all property deemed “marital” property is divided in an “equitable” manner—which generally starts off as a split down the middle, followed by the court making adjustments based on numerous statutory factors that make the division fairer. While people don’t like thinking about debt, it is an issue that …

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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 Implications of Divorce and Remarriage

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Getting remarried after a divorce is common. We only live once and there is no rational basis to swear off relationships. Instead, it is often natural that we move on with our lives and pursue new love. There are, however, legal considerations and consequences that come with it. Absolute Divorce After One Year of Separation A common question that we hear regarding remarriage is whether there is a waiting period to remarry. Before answering this question, you must first understand how divorce works in North Carolina. Our state is an absolute divorce state, which allows a couple to obtain a no-fault divorce after being separated for a full year. This means that to get the divorce, a couple must wait a year—while living separate and apart from one another. Neither …

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Utilizing Family as a Support System

In Relationships, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Separating from your spouse can feel like an incredibly lonely experience. The emotional and physical bond with your life partner has fractured beyond repair. This means the person you likely turned to for comfort in the past is not someone who can help you now. Even if you have children, they are going through their own unique experience from your own trauma. There is also the reaction of the community, your friends, and your family members, which can range from appropriate, to silent judgment, to explicit judgment. Rely on the Support of Your Family and Friends Just because you feel alone, does not mean that you have to be alone. If you have a healthy relationship with family members and friends, use them as a support system when you separate …

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Restoring Your Credit After a Messy Divorce

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Elizabeth Stephenson

There is often a correlation between financial struggles and marital struggles. When a couple goes into debt, problems seem to escalate. The pressure of having no money, of making bad financial decision, of having to sell property, and of harassing creditor calls can make any small argument somehow become explosive. The day-to-day pressure can ultimately end a marriage. When the dust of a divorce clears, and equitable distribution proceedings have been completed, you may find yourself with a poor credit score. This can be attributed to several factors: You were already financially struggling prior to your separation. Due to poor choices with money and excessive borrowing, you and/or your spouse were already overwhelmed with debt. Divorce proceedings do not fix or alleviate financial problems. Separation and divorce can be costly, …

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The Many Facets of Independence Day

In Lifestyle, Relationships by Sarah Hink

Independence Day is upon us. With it comes a day off, family and friends, hot dogs, parties, and fireworks. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the many facets of what independence means: the historic independence of our Country from British rule, independence as individual Americans with the rights of equal protection and due process, independence from our parents as adults, and our autonomy to make decisions for ourselves. There is great value in every aspect of our independence, and if you have separated or divorced a spouse, Independence Day is a prime day to reflect on what we have. Financial Independence During your former marriage, you may not have agreed with the way money was being spent or may have been removed from financial decisions. Following your separation …

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The Intersection of Bankruptcy and Divorce

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Sarah Hink

Financial struggles and marital problems often go together. Relentless harassment from creditors, the inability to make ends meet, maxed out credit cards, and selling personal property just to pay off interest penalties can be a very real source of turmoil in a relationship. Regardless of whether either spouse is actually to blame, the stress and anger of the situation can easily become a catalyst to arguments and general unhappiness that can break the relationship. If you and your spouse are considering a divorce and have overwhelming debt, it is important to speak with an attorney about the implications of bankruptcy on your divorce. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Chapter 7 bankruptcy is among the most popular forms of debt relief. Essentially, a qualifying debtor who cannot repay her or his debts relinquishes …