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Why digital currency can complicate a divorce

Cryptocurrency has been available to those living in North Carolina and elsewhere since 2009 when Bitcoin was introduced. However, digital currencies are now getting more time in the spotlight as they have increased in value and have gotten more attention from the media. For couples who are going through the divorce process, valuing a digital coin can be a contentious issue. It can also be tempting for an individual to sell or hide the asset from a spouse.

Digital coins may be difficult to hide if they were bought through an online exchange. Of course, it is still possible to hold them in a digital wallet offline, and the process of finding such holdings can be lengthy and expensive. If hidden assets are found, a judge could impose sanctions such as jail time or financial penalties. The other spouse could also receive a larger share of any assets that have already been disclosed.

Tips for older couples who are divorcing

As people get older, their finances can get more complicated. For older couples in North Carolina who divorce, there are several potential complexities in the process of property division. One of these is calculating alimony. In addition to a salary, the individual who pays alimony may have additional income from an executive compensation package or stock options.

Since North Carolina is an equitable property state, assets are supposed to be divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Couples may want to try mediation instead of heading straight into the more adversarial process of litigation. After decades of marriage, it can often be difficult to determine what counts as separate and marital property. For example, inheritances are usually considered individual property, but if the inheritance has been mingled with marital property over the years, it could be classed as shared property.

Are you worried about the inflexibility of trusts?

When thinking about the possible options you want to use to create a comprehensive estate plan, using a trust may come to mind. However, you may also have reservations about utilizing this planning tool because there seems to be little flexibility in terms of changing the document once you have created it. Fortunately, that does not have to be the case.

You can take steps to make your trust more flexible, even if the flexibility applies to how the trust is handled after your passing. Putting certain details in place could allow you to feel more comfortable in using a trust to protect your assets and have more control over property distribution later.

Study finds fathers favored in some custody cases

Some mothers in North Carolina might not get custody of their children even if they allege that the other parent is abusing the children. This was one of the findings of a professor at George Washington University Law School. She examined over 2,000 child custody cases in which domestic violence, child abuse and parental alienation were factors and found that courts never affirmed a mother's claim of child abuse if they agreed that the father was facing parental alienation.

In cases where the mother alleged sexual abuse, only 1 in 51 claims was substantiated if the father also claimed parental alienation. Critics argue that children are being placed in abusive homes, and the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence estimates the number is around 58,000 each year. In many cases, parents simply spend money on legal fees until they are out of money and can no longer appeal.

Are you concerned about your art collection and your divorce?

Many people have a passion for art. Even if individuals do not create art themselves, they may enjoy collecting pieces and maintaining art collections. You may have enjoyed creating a collection yourself and continued your hobby even after you got married. In fact, your spouse may also have a passion for art that could have attracted you to him or her in the first place.

Now that you are getting divorced, you may worry about what will happen to the many pieces that you spent your time, effort and money on finding and purchasing. Unfortunately, property division could result in your soon-to-be ex-spouse obtaining at least some of the artwork or an equitable amount of other assets.

Compensation plans can be complex in high-asset divorces

High-asset divorces in North Carolina and around the country often involve spouses with complex compensation packages, which can add an extra layer of complexity to property division and alimony negotiations. Disputes can arise over whether income that is prepaid, deferred or subject to clawback provisions should be considered marital property or included when calculating income for alimony purposes, and people who do not pay attention to these matters may find that large amounts of money are either counted twice or not counted at all.

Clawback provisions can be an especially thorny issue as spouses may argue that income that could be withdrawn should not be divided. When these bonuses are included in high-asset divorces, the settlement may stipulate that the person who receives the money must pay it back if the clawback provision is triggered. However, a further stipulation could state that repayment will only be required if the clawback was not the result of a voluntary act such as resignation.

Older adults, divorce and health risks

North Carolina residents who are 50 and older and who get a divorce may face stress and health problems. Divorce is on the rise in this age group, and researchers have posited a number of reasons why this might be the case. One is that people are living longer and expect more from marriage. People are also more likely to marry for a second or third time, but those marriages are more vulnerable to ending.

Research has shown that some people who get a divorce later in life may experience depression and anxiety as a result. These psychological conditions can increase the risk of developing physical conditions, including heart disease and a weakened immune system. Stress can also lead to behaviors that affect health. For example, people who are under a great deal of stress may be less likely to exercise. They may overeat, or they might engage in risky behaviors, such as smoking and drinking. Another potential danger, particularly for men, is isolation. Older women tend to suffer more financially in a divorce.

Children need to feel safe with both parents

Parents in North Carolina are given custody or visitation rights only if it is in the best interest of the children to do so. If there are concerns about a child's safety while with a parent, that person may lose custody or other rights. In some cases, parents may be restricted to supervised visitation after being accused of emotionally or physically abusing a child. Parents who believe that their children are in danger should collect evidence to back their assertions.

The results of a mental health exam may reveal that a parent is emotionally abusing a child. Medical records could reveal that cuts, bruises or other injuries were the result of being hit or otherwise physically assaulted by an adult. Parents should detail any past instances of physical or mental abuse that they or their children experienced. A judge may ask a child to talk with a therapist or take other steps to determine if he or she has been abused.

Using a prenup to protect business assets

One reason a couple might want to create a prenuptial agreement is to protect business assets that one or both parties acquired before the marriage. North Carolina residents might like to know more about safeguarding their businesses in case they divorce.

Marital property may be subject to division between a couple during a divorce. However, a prenuptial agreement allows spouses to determine the assets to which each person has rights. A prenup allows the owner of a company to establish its value when a marriage begins. This allows its worth to be protected as separate property.

Understanding finances before a divorce

For spouses in North Carolina who are going through a divorce, it can be important to get finances in order. If one spouse handles most of the family accounts, the separation process could be especially difficult for the other partner. It's often best to wait until after the necessary paperwork is obtained before bringing a divorce up. Otherwise, the more financially aware spouse could make it difficult to access the documents.

First, a soon-to-be ex should find out the family's total income. This could include a salary, bonuses and income from other sources such as investments. A tax return may provide this information. One should also know what debts the couple has, including credit card and mortgage debt. This information may be included on a credit report. Finally, it's important to make a list of all monthly expenses. This should include childcare costs, educational expenses, health care expenses and any incidental expenses. A parent should also consider what future child-related expenses may arise. This may include college tuition.

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