Kennedy Law Associates

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Are you overlooking important assets in your divorce?

If your marriage is ending, you probably have many things to take care of, not the least of which is realigning your standard of living with your new financial reality. No matter how comfortable you have been during your marriage, you are certain to face changes in your budget, and much of that will result from the outcome of your asset division.

While you may know that you will be dividing your bank accounts, retirement funds, real property and vehicles with your spouse, have you examined all your belongings to ensure you are not overlooking items of value that may prove to be important factors in attaining a fair division of assets?

The plus side of raising a child together after splitting up

One of the biggest concerns of divorced parents in North Carolina is how to continue providing their children with a positive parenting experience even after the split. While breaking up and divorcing is a very emotionally tense period that affects both parents and kids, choosing to positively co-parent after splitting up has benefits for both children and parents.

For the children, co-parenting provides the sense of security that is often lost once their parents divorce. Because co-parenting allows children to continue developing their relationship with both parents, children learn to understand that while their parents might not be together anymore, they can still find love and support in both parents. This is necessary for positive growth for children. It also helps children continue to behave positively because the outcome of a divorce where one parent has primary child custody sometimes leads to children reacting and exhibiting negative behavior issues as a result.

Preparing for divorce in the summer months

People in North Carolina are more likely to divorce during the summer, according to experts. There are a number of reasons why this may be true, including the fact that children are out of school and transitions may be less complicated during this period. One study showed that August and March are traditionally high periods for divorce, especially after families spend more time together in the summer months or over the winter holidays. The new year can also spark new divorces along with resolutions.

However, it can be important to plan for divorce no matter what time of year it happens. People who are thinking about ending their marriage may want to gain a better understanding of marital finances, including their credit cards, bank accounts and investment funds. They should also work to collect key documents like bank statements and tax returns, which will become important in later divorce negotiations and the property division process. Divorce is often driven by emotional concerns, but the practical aspects of the legal dissolution of a marriage are especially important for both partners and have long-term impacts.

Researchers say some wedding dates linked to divorce

Couples in North Carolina who choose the most convenient day for their wedding might fare better than those who insist on getting married only on a special date, such as Valentine's Day. A study by researchers in Australia found a correlation between some wedding dates and a higher possibility of divorce.

According to the researchers at the University of Melbourne, who examined data on one million marriages, Valentine's Day was the wedding day that resulted in the most divorces. For the February 14 marriages, more than 10% ended after five years and more than 20% were over after nine years.

The case for a premarital agreement

In the rosy light of a blossoming romance, it's easy to forget about the long-term practicalities. Whether you have proposed over champagne and roses or you asked the most important question of your life after a sunset stroll on the beach, you are likely basking in the the moment.

So, it probably doesn't feel like the ideal time to broach the topic of a premarital agreement. While it may not be the most romantic topic to discuss over dinner after slipping a diamond ring onto someone's finger, there are many valid reasons to consider getting a premarital agreement.

Why do some couples choose mediation for their divorce?

Divorce is never an easy process, even when both parties remain committed to working together amicably. In order to resolve divorce disputes and reach a reasonable resolution to disputes, some couples turn to specific methods to help them through this process. Mediation is a way for you and your spouse to go through divorce without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom.

If you want to keep more control over your divorce, this may be the right option for you. Mediation is a problem-solving process, so you and your spouse will have the opportunity to work through disputes in a respectful, reasonable manner. In many cases, this is a smart way that North Carolina couples can ease the strain and stress associated with divorce. 

Dividing a student loan debt in divorce

In an equitable distribution state like North Carolina, a court will consider several factors to determine whether one person's student loan debt should be considered marital property for purposes of divorce property division. If the debt dates from before the marriage, it will probably be considered separate and will not be subject to division.

However, if the person acquired the loan after getting married, the issue might become more complicated. For example, if the couple used the student loan money for rent or other shared expenses, it may be more likely that it will be considered a shared debt than if the student only used it for school-related expenses. The earning power of both individuals might also be a factor. A lower-earning spouse might not be held responsible for a higher-earning spouse's debts, especially if the lower-earning spouse took time out from a career to support the student spouse.

The importance of active non-custodial parents

There are many different child custody arrangements that can work for North Carolina families after the parents decide to divorce or separate. While many years ago, joint physical custody was unusual, it is now favored by many family courts as an ideal solution absent an environment of neglect or abuse. However, for others, one parent having primary physical custody may be the better solution, even when both parents are actively involved in their children's lives. For example, some parents may struggle with physical custody if they regularly have to travel on business trips, face deployment, or work odd hours or lengthy shifts.

At the same time, being a non-custodial parent does not mean being an inactive parent. Many non-custodial parents have extensive visitation rights and regularly see their children for extended visits. They also pay child support, critical to the well-being of the children. In many cases, parents who do not share physical custody may share legal custody, giving them an equal voice in important decisions about the child's health care, education, or religious upbringing. Non-custodial parents can maintain an active, loving relationship with their children, even if they are physically separated by work or other obligations.

Are you divorcing a narcissist?

Divorce can be a stressful situation for anyone, but it is even more so when dealing with someone who has narcissistic tendencies. Narcissism is defined as having an excessive interest or admiration in oneself.

To rank as a personality disorder narcissism must go a step further and manifest as a condition where someone is arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, demanding and lacks empathy for others. It also often means being in a relationship with someone who exhibits controlling or coercive behavior.

Reasons why teenagers can be especially difficult to raise

Parents in North Carolina and every other state know that it is hard to raise a teenager. This is because teens are going through an emotional and physical transition from childhood to adulthood. It is important for parents to remember that teens still need support and guidance even as they start to have a greater say in their own lives. For those who are divorced and attempting to raise a teenager, it is important to communicate effectively with the teen and the other parent.

It can be tempting for a parent to assume that the other is keeping tabs on what the child is doing. However, both parents should learn who their teenager is friends with or otherwise spends time with on a regular basis. Parents should also share information about any behavioral issues that they notice. This can make it possible to resolve a problem before it gets too far out of hand.

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