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Kennedy Law Associates' Blog

What is discernment counseling and does it prevent divorce?

When people start to drift apart, it often has to do with communication. It's normal for most people to not expect too much in terms of emotional information from others, but couples are intimately bonded. When you start to disagree about the very nature of your relationship, you may be thinking divorce is the only answer.

  • What are the alternatives?

There are ways to avoid the stereotypical nasty divorce with a lot of arguments and court appearances because that rarely happens anymore anyway. Divorce courts may order or recommended counseling to see if people can solve any differences regarding the division of assets or child care without escalating conflicts.

  • What about avoiding divorce entirely?

Dividing marital assets does not have to be a nightmare

When you love someone for a long time, there are no possessions in the world you would trade for her or his happiness. But that can feel like a hollow sentiment if the time comes to get a divorce. A separation after people have combined their assets can be complicated in legal reality as well as in the world of emotion.

There are a few things to remember no matter what the circumstances are surrounding separation and divorce. The first is to remain calm. It's always a good idea to recall this specifically before entering into any conversations or dealings regarding the division of marital property. The emotions surrounding the risks of divorce can be overwhelming, but it's not easy to remember that.

Why go to family court in North Carolina?

Civil courts have been around for centuries as a way of helping people solve disputes that are not criminal complaints. Family court, however, is a relatively new creation by the judicial system. Operating as part of or along similar lines to a civil court, family courts are there to resolve specific issues for people and their children.

  • Why have a separate family court?

Family courts deal with issues unlike most of the others in the legal system. Evidence of affection, commitment and other unquantifiable parts of the human or parenting experience have to be considered. Since children are often affected by family court outcomes, they may also involve counseling during and after proceedings.

  • What is covered by a family court in North Carolina?

Are you struggling to respond to a divorce petition?

Because you and your spouse were having problems for a while, it may not have come as a surprise when he or she announced that the two of you needed some space. You may have anticipated a short separation where your spouse spent a few days at a friend or family member's house so you could each find ways to work on your relationship. However, as time went on, it became clear that your spouse had no intention of returning to the marital home.

You may have known that your spouse intended to file for divorce, but being served with the divorce petition was likely still difficult for you. The formal and legal nature of the papers may have felt sterile and detached, and you may have wondered how your relationship reached this point. Nonetheless, you now have the responsibility of responding to the petition.

North Carolina social services department under fire over custody

It is a fundamental part of parenthood for mother and fathers alike that they do not want to be separated from their children. Even parents who must be isolated from their kids in hospitals and similar places feel an itch that doesn't go away until they can be with their family again.

When the state has to step in for the safety of a child or family, it usually does it through social service departments or children's services. The skills and integrity of social workers is very important to parents and children alike. So, it is causing several problems that a North Carolina county's social services department is facing a scandal.

Making co-parenting work for you and your teen

There is nothing quite like the experience of raising a teenager, which can be both challenging and rewarding. But some of those challenges can seem much bigger when you are divorced. Learning how to effectively co-parent with an ex-spouse might be one of the biggest hurdles.

Of course, cooperating with an ex after divorce can feel impossible at first. After all, you decided to divorce for a reason. However, many parents in North Carolina make sharing joint custody work. In fact, many families even thrive in this arrangement. Here are a few tips for making co-parenting work for you and your child.

A prenuptial agreement can end arguments before they begin

It's natural to be a little concerned about an upcoming marriage. Tension is so normal that "cold feet" and other expressions show its role in society. Patience and self-awareness can help people get through this phase, and communication with a future spouse is essential as well.

But there are also concrete steps people can take if they are concerned about the safety of their assets in a legally recognized relationship. North Carolina will recognize many individuals' property previous to a marriage as their own individual assets. But things can get complicated for shared assets like homes and the increasing value of assets during a marriage.

North Carolina delays divorces due to a 1931 law

If you have been thinking about divorce for a long time, it may feel like the days or weeks leading up to the end of the process may last forever. No one wants an extra delay thrown in unless it results in a better or more amicable split of property or child custody.

But waiting is part of the game in North Carolina, partially because of a law dating back to the early 20th century. In fact, the law is so esoteric that it is difficult to find references to it in the Tar Heel State's codes.

Prenuptial agreements can halt disagreements before they start

When a marriage is just getting started in a haze of love and affection, it's hard to picture any trouble. But feelings can change over time. Even people who still have warm feelings for each other can decide to call it quits. What can make the separation harder? It often comes down to the division of property.

North Carolina has some guidelines on how people can separate their assets in a divorce. A lot of trouble and effort can be saved when people work out how to figure out a fair separation of assets that works for both of them -- especially when they do it far in advance of any marital problems. The security of a prenuptial agreement can make an approaching divorce easier to bear.

Are child custody issues the cause of your child's tummy ache?

Like all good parents in North Carolina and beyond, your children's best interest is your highest priority. You've no doubt experienced times in your parenting journey where you've had to make decisions that you knew were not going to make your kids happy, but you were doing it because you knew it was best for them. Children sometimes get upset about the decisions their parents make, although most come to understand why such decisions occurred as they grow in maturity and life experience.

Your divorce might have been a decision you knew was not going to make your children happy. You and your spouse were hopefully able to sit down as a family and discuss the issue before proceedings began. Perhaps, it's been a few weeks or months since the court issued a child custody order, and you are concerned that certain issues might be causing your children stress.

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