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Postnuptial agreements open conversations about finances

Couples in North Carolina who have been married for a while might be considering a financial reset. One form that this can take is signing a postnuptial agreement. This contract can protect assets that are acquired during marriage and a business that is owned by a couple. It is similar to a prenuptial agreement. The main difference is that it is signed during the marriage instead of before marriage.

Discussing a postnuptial agreement may make a couple feel uncomfortable, like they are doomed to failure. However, it has helped some couples add some clarity to their finances. It allows them to establish new ways of handling money and addresses issues that may have caused some friction, like if one partner consistently does not handle money well.

Google searches for "divorce" peak in January

North Carolina residents who are thinking about filing for divorce in January might have a lot of company. January is nicknamed "divorce month" by some legal professionals due to the sheer number of divorce cases that begin in the New Year. The same seasonal pattern of divorce is seen across the country according to a 2016 University of Washington study.

When January rolls around, people are done with their holiday shopping, party planning and family reunions. An impending divorce that might have been delayed during holiday celebrations is now on the table. Another reason divorces may happen in January is that couples with children don't want to break the news to their kids during the holidays.

Don't make the mistake of undervaluing assets

When you're getting divorced, odds are you put a lot of time into thinking about your assets. You need to split them with your spouse -- soon to be your ex -- and you don't want to lose out. You don't want to make a mistake that costs you thousands of dollars. You know how easy it is.

If you're already thinking about this, that's a good sign. People often make divorce mistakes that they don't comprehend until later. They regret it, but it's too late. Instead, you want to make yourself aware of these mistakes in advance so that you can avoid them up front.

Why talking about prenuptial agreements is essential

Few occasions bring joy to so many people's hearts as engagements. No matter if they are romantic private proposals or huge events that thousands witness, everyone feels the magic of the moment. During this joyful and exciting time, few couples in North Carolina want to discuss finances and prenuptial agreements. However, doing so allows partners to be sure that they are on the same page as to how they will manage their finances after marriage and how issues will be managed in the event of a divorce.

When a couple has a prenuptial agreement, they can avoid the frustration and expense that comes from leaving decisions about dividing and distributing assets up to a judge. It allows a couple to put a customized agreement into place that they both think is fair. A few of the things that would be included in a prenuptial agreement include family trusts, inheritances and future gifts that will be received.

Inappropriate reasons to deny child visitation after a divorce

It can be tempting for some North Carolina parents to try to block child visitation with an ex-spouse. However, if a court has granted a non-custodial parent visitation with a child, refusing visitation can lead to fines, jail time, and even loss of custody of the child. Here are a few illegitimate reasons some parents try to block visitation.

A parent may be concerned that a child does not have his or her own bedroom in the house of the ex-spouse. However, this does not provide grounds for refusing visitation. In other cases, parent may feel that if the ex-spouse is behind on child support payments, they do not deserve to see the children. However, being behind on payments does not mean that a parent does not have a right to see their child.

How to co-parent with a narcissist

North Carolina residents who have gone through a divorce know that challenges often surround co-parenting. The situation can be especially difficult when one of the ex-spouses is a narcissist. Thankfully, there are steps the other ex-spouse can take in order to make the best of the situation and look out for the best interests of their children.

The first thing that a person who is co-parenting with a narcissist needs to recognize is that they will not be able to change their ex-spouse. It is much better to focus on things that they have control of, like their own life and the way they respond to the narcissist. Their ex-spouse is likely going to push their buttons, but if they are able to maintain a steady temperament, they will be able to maintain their commitment to good parenting.

Investments and property division in a divorce

When North Carolina couples are going through a divorce, they may have investment accounts they need to divide. This can be a complex process, and they may want to work with legal and financial professionals, such as attorneys and financial planners.

A person who was not involved in the financial side of the marriage can be at a disadvantage during the divorce. If this is the case, that person should make sure to get information on all assets and how to access them. When deciding whether to sell assets and split the proceeds, people should keep in mind that this could incur taxes or penalties with some investments. For example, there could be penalties for leaving an annuity early and capital gains taxes on the sale of securities. In some cases, keeping an investment and dividing the shares may be the better solution.

What are your child custody options over the holidays?

The holidays are coming, and parents who share custody need to know how they're going to approach this festive family season. Do you know what your plan is or what the court order allows? Have you already talked to your ex to see what they would like to do? Communication is very important. You need to work together to put the kids first, no matter what that means.

So, what options do you have? Here are a few potential ones to consider:

Could divorce help solve a financial problem?

Some couples in North Carolina might still love one another, but divorce can still hold an appeal. For these couples, the financial implications of divorce can be one of the appeals of ending a marriage, rather than the downside that they usually pose. Political discussions have focused on taxes on the wealthy, and if taxes do rise on wealthy families, some people may find that they pay more taxes as a married couple than they would if they were divorced. For taxpayers in the highest bracket in the U.S. - sitting at 37% - they may pay around $900 more each year under current tax laws than they would if each partner filed singly.

However, couples with millions of dollars in assets are unlikely to divorce in order to save under $1000. There are reasons that can compel people of different financial means to separate even when their emotional ties remain strong. With the cost of college attendance continuing to rise, parents might consider that their joint income could harm their child's opportunity for more generous financial aid. In the case of divorce, only the custodial parent's income is considered in financial aid calculations.

Asset division in a divorce can be complex

The division of assets during the divorce process can lead to much contention and disagreement between the two parties. One factor to keep in mind is that an agreement between the two on this issue is likely to be approved by a North Carolina divorce court. Otherwise, the court will impose a ruling, which neither party may be particularly happy about. For most couples, the family home is a significant or the most valuable asset owned by the couple, and any asset division must begin with a proper evaluation of it.

If the couple intends to sell the home, the evaluation becomes what the property actually sells for, and the net sale proceeds can be split between the two. If one party wishes to keep the house, there must be a professional appraisal taken to determine the fair market value. The value of the property is then considered to be the fair market value less any amounts owed on a mortgage. If this path is taken, financial advisers caution that there are other issues to consider.

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Protect Yourself, Your Finances And Your Family For The Future. Call Susan Gray Law, P.A. Today:
336-701-6521 or send an email.

110 Oakwood Drive, Suite 410
Winston Salem, NC 27103

Phone: 336-701-6521
Fax: 336-529-6325
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