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Keeping things civil: What to do when your ex-spouse causes drama

There are plenty of people who have gone through divorces just to get away from a toxic spouse. Whether their spouse was toxic to their children or not, having someone who constantly causes drama is a drain on your time and energy.

Whether your ex-spouse is causing conflicts over custody arrangements or starting trouble with your children's school, it may be hard to know how to handle the situation civilly. Keeping your cool is important, though, especially if you have to go to court over your ex-spouse's behaviors.

How does sole physical custody affect support?

Most parents want the best for their children, and they are willing to make any sacrifice in order to fulfill their child's happiness. However, parents may have to make tough decisions, especially when it comes to child custody.

In North Carolina, co-parents have several options when it comes to custody arrangements. First, you have to consider the differences between legal and physical custody.

Can you protect your inheritance from property division?

Many North Carolina residents are fortunate enough to receive an inheritance from parents, grandparents or other loved ones. In some cases, the inherited assets or funds could be substantial or valuable, and deciding what to do with the inheritance is not always as easy as you might think. For example, if you are married, you may think that you should put any inherited funds into your joint account you share with your spouse. But is that the best idea?

Unfortunately, not all marriages stand the test of time, and you could find yourself heading for divorce at some point down the line. While this may not seem pleasant to think about, it is worthwhile to do so if you have received an inheritance or anticipate receiving one in the future because you may need to ensure that you protect those funds or assets should your marriage come to an end.

Will you need to pay child support through college?

You're getting divorced with a 15-year-old child. They still live at home and you're ordered to pay child support to help when you don't have custody. You're fine with it; you know that raising a child is expensive and you earn more than your ex.

What you start wondering about, though, is what happens when your child goes to college in three years. You remember your own college years. You were still very dependent on your parents for help, living at home over the summers and getting assistance with buying food, paying rent, etc. Are you still going to be obligated to pay child support when your own child is in college?

Toddlers, shared custody and primary attachment figures

One of the most complex and often controversial parts of child custody is determining what to do with toddlers as their parents split up. It can be easier with younger children, who have no opinions, or with older children, who can make their opinions and desires known. But how do you address toddlers?

One thing to consider is that toddlers choose primary attachment figures. These are the people they feel most comfortable with. You'll often see this in times of distress.

Creating the right atmosphere for a divorce conversation

If you're looking for ways to make the divorce conversation with your spouse easier, one key step to take is to create the proper atmosphere. This is a big conversation for you and your spouse, whether you both want a divorce or it's just something that you're interested in, and you need to carefully consider every aspect.

So, how do you create that ideal atmosphere? Here are a few steps to take:

  • Find alone time when the children are somewhere else. They could be at school or with a babysitter. It may work to wait until they're asleep, but that gets harder because you can't guarantee you won't get interrupted.
  • Turn off your phone. Don't just set it aside or put it on mute. Turn it off to show that this is just time for you and your spouse to talk.
  • Don't do this in the heat of the moment or while you're angry. Always have this conversation when you're feeling calm and level-headed.
  • Set the conversation up so that there is no deadline. Even if you think you have enough time -- you have an hour until you have to leave for work, for instance -- it can still create pressure that you don't want.
  • Choose a place where you both feel comfortable. If you're still living together, this is best done in the home. If not, it may be wise to choose a neutral location so that you're both on even ground.

Is that marital asset really 'your' property? (Maybe not)

Dividing marital assets can get complicated. People sometimes argue over who should get which assets, even when an outsider would clearly note that they both have a right to those assets. In some cases, the issue is the way that people think of these assets versus the way that the assets were actually acquired.

For instance, there are some assets people often do not argue about, such as the family home. A couple that bought a house together understands that they both own it and, to divide it, they'll likely have to sell the home and divide the proceeds.

Complications when grandparents get divorced

Gray divorce is a term used to mean people who get divorced when they are 50 years old or older. This often means that these individuals are grandparents. They do not have to consider the same child custody questions that younger parents may when their children still live at home, but that doesn't mean there aren't any complications. It's important to think this through carefully.

For instance, how is the divorce going to impact estate planning or saving for retirement? Younger divorcees may not have started either of these processes yet, but grandparents likely have. They need to know how their assets will get divided and what it is going to mean for their financial future.

Child custody: What should North Carolina parents wear to court?

When you decided to file for divorce, you undoubtedly understood that you'd have to resolve numerous legal issues regarding your children. Then, when you decided to request child custody, you may have begun to feel a bit anxious about court proceedings, especially if you've never been inside a North Carolina courtroom. 

If you've filed a petition for child custody, you must convince the judge overseeing your case that it's in your children's best interest to rule in your favor. What you wear to court will make an impression, and you want that impression to be a good one. This means there are certain types of clothing you'll want to avoid. 

How long were you together before getting married?

Same-sex couples in 2020 have a potentially unique situation. While same-sex marriage was legal in some parts of the country, the blanket changes to the law that made it legal everywhere did not happen until 2015. They can now get married just like opposite-sex couples, but what might getting that right to wed so late mean for a potential divorce, should one happen?

Well, essentially, it could mean is that a couple was together for years before tying the knot and gaining the same legal rights afforded other married couples. For instance, one same-sex couple -- both of whom fell into a high-income bracket on their own, let alone as a couple -- spent half a dozen years in a very committed relationship before they were even allowed to marry.

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