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Charlotte Family Law Blog

Divorce rates by occupation

North Carolina residents who work in fields that involve travel or night life might have marriages that are more vulnerable to divorce than people whose jobs offer more stable hours and a higher income. Data from 2015 gathered in the American Community Survey and presented by FlowingData found that occupations associated with math or science had the lowest divorce rates.

The national average for divorce in 2015 was around 35 percent, but the divorce rate for bartenders and gaming managers that year was higher than 50 percent. There was also a correlation between divorce rate, income and the likelihood of a child's illness. The divorce rates for actuaries, scientists, doctors and software developers were considerably lower than the national average. For example, for actuaries, it was lower than 20 percent. Occupations associated with a rural population also had a lower divorce rate. Among those were farming, fishing, the military and forestry.

Cooperation in post divorce parenting is the key

Divorced North Carolina couples with young children often have a difficult time in parenting their offspring in two separate households. The differences between the parents that led to their divorce, such as communication, are still present. Adding to those problems, the children themselves are now in an unfamiliar and emotionally difficult situation. During this time, parenting skills must come to the forefront.

Divorce lawyers and other family law professionals often provide advice that is not necessarily law-related but parenting-related. This is because a healthier post-divorce environment leads to improved child rearing. One recommendation is that there is a uniform set of rules for both households that the children are subject to.

Estate planning mistakes to avoid

One of the most important things you should do when creating your estate plans in Charlotte is anticipate potential problems your heirs may encounter. It is easy to assume estate planning is strictly for your benefit. However, your estate plans also have a big impact on the people who will inherit from them. 

The wrong plans can lead to mistakes and a reduction in your estate's value, rob your loved ones of their inheritances and cause your estate to be administered differently than the instructions you leave behind. Take some time to look over the following estate planning mistakes you should avoid: 

Co-parents can work together for their children

Parenting after a divorce or separation can be a difficult situation for North Carolina estranged couples. Even in the most amicable of splits, a co-parenting relationship can be a delicate balance that is affected by the past history of the marriage as well as the best interests of the children.

This is especially true when the co-parenting relationship involves ex-spouses who are difficult to get along with or who remain focused on past aspects of the marriage. In the most serious cases, these kinds of concern can include abuse or addiction, but even in more mundane child custody conflicts, there are some strategies that co-parents can use in order to help keep the focus on the children and move forward.

Child custody in North Carolina

Statistics show that eight out of 10 judges award sole custody to mothers when custody disputes are brought to court. This might seem like a win for mothers; however, issues could emerge. Some women eventually find that while they won the custody battle, it came at the price of career advancement and financial independence.

Shared parenting is a possible solution to this imbalance. This option is an arrangement where both parents spend as close to equal time as possible with their children after a divorce or separation. Shared parenting allows women to have a lot more flexibility and opportunity to meet the demands of a career. Since it treats fathers and mothers equally, some say that it's more in accord with the demands and expectations of a modern society.

How does divorce affect your will in North Carolina?

Although you have enough things to worry about when you get a divorce, make sure that your will is on the list. Your divorce order and your feelings toward your ex will have an impact on the terms of your will.

Depending on your circumstances, you may either need to modify your will or rewrite it completely. Talk to an estate planning attorney to find out which you should do and to make sure you have made all necessary updates.

The importance of DNA testing

In an ideal world, every child born in North Carolina has two parents committed to nurturing and supporting that child. However, there are circumstances in which there is some question over a child's paternity and the father's obligation to provide support. As a result, one or both parents may decide to request DNA testing.

DNA testing is a reliable way to establish whether a man is the father of a child. Once paternity has been established, issues such as child support, child custody, and visitation can more easily be negotiated. Conversely, testing can also establish who is not the father of the child so that he can defend himself against requests for payments.

Women, finances and divorce

North Carolina women may find themselves in an unexpected financial situation after a divorce. According to a report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2012, the household income for women dropped an average of 41 percent after their marriage ended, which is almost twice the income loss experienced by men. A significant reason women tend not to fare as well as men after a divorce is that women tend to earn less of an income than men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly earnings for women are 82 cents for every dollar men take home. The inequality in pay can be even greater when factors such as types of jobs or certain ethnic backgrounds are taken into account.

One certified divorce financial analyst asserts that traditional gender roles are a significant factor in income inequality. Women are usually saddled with the care-giving duties, whether it is for elderly parents or children. This can result in less time in the workforce and a reduced amount of lifetime earnings. The reduced working hours also result in lower Social Security benefits and lifetimes savings. The effect of traditional gender roles extends beyond women's earnings. The management of the household finances was typically considered to a role for the husband.

What you need for a valid will

Making a will is a major part of careful estate planning for many in North Carolina. An effective will can provide for the distribution of your assets and ensure the carrying out of your wishes when the time comes.

North Carolina law sets out some basic requirements for a valid will. Taking the time to get the preparation correct can help avoid problems for your executor and beneficiaries later on. An invalid will can cause your estate to settleĀ in accordance with intestacy laws.

Joint bank accounts and divorce

North Carolina couples who are getting a divorce may need to close any jointly owned assets such as bank and credit card accounts. With credit card accounts, it is important to make sure that any debts are paid off. Creditors might pursue either person for a joint credit card debt regardless of who was actually responsible for the debt in the first place.

Closing a joint bank account can usually be done by only one person although it may be easier if both people are present. Photo identification may be necessary. Before closing the account, the owners should decide how the assets will be distributed. If they are unable to decide, a judge will do so along with making a decision about the distribution of other assets and debts acquired after marriage. Inheritances that have not been commingled in the joint account or with other joint property as well as property acquired before marriage are generally not considered shared marital property.

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