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Charlotte Family Law Blog

Methods spouses use to hide property

Feeling as if your spouse is hiding money or assets from you can prove quite unnerving, and so, too, can losing trust in the person with whom you have shared a bed for some time now. Unfortunately, both situations are common among married couples, about half of whom ultimately end up parting ways.

Often, people who become suspicious of their spouse‚Äôs actions or motives have just cause in thinking the way that they do. Therefore, if you get the feeling your spouse may be trying to stockpile or conceal assets from you ahead of an impending divorce, you would be ill-advised to simply let it slide. Doing so has the potential to make you lose big when it comes time to go your separate ways, so if you have suspicions about your partner, do your research to get to the bottom of things. Additionally, recognize that many husbands and wives who wish to hide assets from their partners do so by:

Reasons for legal restrictions imposed during divorce

People in North Carolina might view divorce as a pathway to emotional or personal freedom, but the process places both spouses under legal scrutiny. Soon-to-be exes often experience surprise when they learn that the law limits what they can do with their money or where they can travel with children until a court approves the final divorce settlement. Although typically inconvenient, these legal restrictions are meant to protect people from financial loss or violation of parental rights.

Because divorce requires a division of a couple's financial life, the splitting spouses must refrain from taking out large sums of money, selling property or racking up debts. A court could view such actions as attempts to deny assets to a spouse. When challenged about financial activity, a spouse might have to restore the money so that a court can decide how to divide it.

What to know about filing taxes after divorce

If you count yourself among the many people across North Carolina who are currently navigating their way through a divorce, you are probably learning a good bit about how to adapt to change. While your living situation, your financial obligations and your relationship status are among the many transitions you might experience during this time, other areas of your life also undergo change when you split from a husband or wife.

How you file your taxes, for example, is going to change in the aftermath of your divorce, and there can be a bit of a learning curve involved in getting them back on track. If you are going through a divorce, it may benefit you to take the following actions with regard to your taxes:

Tips for making divorce preparations

North Carolina spouses who are going through a divorce can take steps to make the process easier. One of those first steps is prioritizing. Future exes should write down what their needs are in the divorce as well as their wants and the things they are willing to let go.

It is important to think of the divorce as a legal process despite the emotional ramifications. Couples should understand how state and federal laws will govern aspects such as how property is divided. Before divorce negotiations or litigation can begin, spouses should get their financial information in order. This may involve ordering a credit report and gathering paperwork.

National statistics for child support

Some commentators like to promote the misconception that single parents in North Carolina and the rest of the United States receive an inordinate amount of child support. According to the Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support report released by the Census Bureau, however, the opposite may actually be true.

The report is released every couple of years, with the most recent report being released in January 2016. The data contained in the report is intended to provide an accurate look at the number of single parents who have an order of child support in place, how much support is supposed to be paid and how much is actually paid.

What can you accomplish with an irrevocable living trust?

If you live in North Carolina and are beginning the process of estate planning and getting your plans for the future in order, you may be giving some thought to how you might best preserve your wealth for future generations. While there are a variety of methods you can use to plan ahead, one method you might consider utilizing to help you protect your hard-earned assets involves establishing what is known as an irrevocable living trust.

An irrevocable living trust can be a great way to protect your assets and help preserve more of them for your beneficiaries. While you cannot change or draw from the trust once you create it (although you may be able to do so through a revocable living trust), there are numerous things you can accomplish by creating one. For example, you can use an irrevocable living trust to:

Paying for a child's college costs when going through divorce

When a North Carolina couple has a child, they might set up a plan for helping that child with any future college costs he or she may have. However, a divorce could upset that financial plan, especially once parents realize that they are suddenly paying for two households instead of one.

College costs for the 2017-2018 school year averaged around $47,000 for a private nonprofit school and about $20,700 for public in-state schools. Costs seem to be rising by about 3 percent every year, making college increasingly more expensive to attend. Even so, according to a study by TD Ameritrade, about 66 percent of all married couples do not have a financial plan in place that takes into account divorce. Once a divorce does occur, there is often less money to go around, potentially causing kids to put their college dreams on hold.

Using a financial planner during a divorce

When North Carolina couples decide that it is time to get a divorce, many reach out to an attorney to get the process started. However, some also take the step to look for a financial planner as divorce could potentially result in serious debt. By working with a team that includes a financial planner, a person may be able to come out of the divorce with his or her finances still intact.

Once a team is in place, a person going through the divorce may want to consider collaboration. A collaborative divorce involves working with the other party to reach an agreement while litigation involves going in front of a judge. While a collaborative divorce is not always possible, it does allow both individuals to maintain some sort of control over how the marital assets will be split.

3 strategies to avoid the estate tax

If you have a sizeable estate, you may have concerns about a lot of it going toward taxes. You do not want your wealth going away through taxes instead of to your family, but you may assume it is impossible to avoid it if you have a multi-million dollar estate.

However, it is possible to reduce or even eliminate the death tax. Here are some strategies to minimize your estate tax liability:

Steps to establishing paternity

Establishing paternity may be a necessity in cases where North Carolina parents are not married to one another. It is the first step in getting child support from the father, but there are a number of other reasons to establish paternity as well. One is that the children have a right to know who their father is and the opportunity to build a relationship with him if possible. Another is that knowledge of paternity may alert children to the likelihood of any genetic medical issues. Establishing paternity also allows a children to inherit from a father and receive veteran's and other benefits from the father. Finally, paternity allows a father to request visitation or custody rights.

Paternity can be established by a father who is present and willing to do so by signing an acknowledgement at the time of the child's birth. It may also be established at any time when the child is a minor by signing an affidavit of paternity.

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