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What is North Carolina’s divorce-linked asset distribution scheme?

Divorce in North Carolina and across the country is a family law process replete with nuance and complexity.

That begins with flat-out state-by-state variances in the relevant laws and procedures relevant to marital dissolution. Although there is certainly common ground among the states concerning divorce variables, there are also distinct differences in approaches toward things that need to be considered and legally attended to.

Prenuptial agreements more common among millennials

Millennials in North Carolina are becoming increasingly likely to ask for a prenuptial agreement. This is according to a survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Of those surveyed, 51 percent said that they saw an uptick in the number of people between the ages of 22 and 37 asking for such an agreement. There are many reasons why this is the case, and one of them has to do with people getting married later in life.

This means that they may have assets such as retirement savings or a business that they want to protect. One takeaway from the AAML survey was that women were likely the ones who were starting the conversations about prenuptial agreements. It is not uncommon for women to be the sole or primary income earners in a relationship, and it is becoming more common to see them pay alimony or child support.

Benefits of a postnuptial agreement

You may be most familiar with prenuptial agreements, but did you know there are also postnuptial agreements? Postnuptial agreements work similarly to prenuptial agreements, and couples can create one whether they’ve been married 10 days or 10 years. These agreements can protect you and your spouse’s wealth and assets in the event of a divorce.

Entering into a postnuptial agreement doesn’t mean you lack faith in your marriage. In fact, some experts believe there are many potential benefits to an agreement:

What is alienation of affection?

An infidelity in a marriage can be a devastating event. The ripple effects can include separation or even divorce. Children can suffer as collateral damage if tension in the home rises or their parents begin to split custody.

In some cases, you could even have legal recourse against your cheating spouse's lover through an alienation of affection lawsuit. Alienation of affection occurs when a person outside of a marriage interferes with or damages a marriage. North Carolina is one of just seven states that still allows alienation of affection lawsuits.

New tax changes have big implications on alimony

One of the most frequently contested elements in a divorce proceeding in North Carolina is alimony. When spouses separate and live apart, one's quality of living may wind up affecting more than the other due to the change in income. If one spouse made more than the other, a judge may order alimony.

A controversial tax change went into effective Jan. 1, 2019, aimed to change the alimony landscape, leading many to rush to finalize divorce proceedings

How long does it take to finalize divorce?

North Carolina currently requires married couples to separate for one year before they can officially file for divorce. This law is controversial, and a few lawmakers have tried to get rid of it. One recent attempted law that failed to go in front of a committee tried to reduce this one-year requirement in cases where one spouse has a felony conviction, with the victim being the other spouse. 

As a result, divorce takes much longer in North Carolina when compared to other states. After this one year, one spouse can serve the other with divorce paperwork. From there, the proceedings can go by fairly quickly, as long as both spouses are on the same page. 

How to use social media during a divorce

Social media has fundamentally changed virtually every aspect of people's lives. It can become a major point of contention within a marriage, and it is increasingly playing a role in people's divorces

The statuses and pictures you post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can come up as admissible evidence in divorce court. Therefore, you need to use it wisely until your divorce has concluded. Here are some tips for using social media during this time. 

Why joint custody often is the best solution

As a North Carolina parent, your children are your biggest concern if you and your spouse are contemplating divorce. In all likelihood, they also are your spouse’s biggest concern. Neither of you wants to be the absentee parent because both of you love being a big part of your children’s lives. If this situation describes yours, you would do well to consider a post-divorce joint custody arrangement.

Opinions regarding joint custody have changed dramatically over the years. Where once it was almost a rule that mothers got custody of children, particularly young ones, most judges, child psychologists, legislators and parents now believe that joint custody usually is better for not only the kids, but also the parents.

Is it the court's business what I spend child support on?

You receive child support to help you meet your children's needs, whether emotional or physical. Raising a child on your own is not easy, and like most custodial parents in North Carolina, you need the other parent to contribute. Does this mean your ex can dictate how you spend the child support you receive from him or her? Your ex-spouse may have threatened to get the family law court involved if you do not prove that every dollar of child support you spend is on the children.

Fortunately, as FindLaw explains, the law does not require you to keep records on your child support spending or tell the court where the money goes. You also do not need to tell your ex how you spend the money. There are no restrictions on how you spend child support, but keep in mind that its purpose is for your children's well-being. It would be within your rights to spend child support in the following ways:

  • Basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing and electricity
  • Doctor's visits, counseling, co-pays and medicines
  • School fees, classroom supplies and extra-curricular activities
  • Entertainment, such as birthday party supplies, movie tickets, restaurant meals and gifts

Your divorce New Year’s resolutions

You managed to get through the holidays in one piece, but the New Year left you with the feeling that your marriage is over. You are not alone – divorce filings are more prevalent right after the holidays than any other time of year. Now is the time for you and other North Carolina residents preparing for a divorce to organize and start planning.

According to many family law attorneys, the Monday following holiday break is Divorce Day due to an inundation of phone calls and emails about divorce during this time. Why does this happen? There are many reasons: You might have decided to give a last-ditch effort to save your marriage during the holidays only to realize there is no hope. The New Year signals new beginnings for many people, and it might seem like a fresh start to you. Financial and tax considerations might also be good reasons to file before you are well into 2018.

Arrange An Initial Consultation

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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