Kennedy Law Associates

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If your spouse is an addict, divorce may be your best option

Without a doubt, living with an addict is challenging to say the least. It more than likely impacts every aspect of your relationship. If you have children, one of your primary priorities is probably to protect them from your spouse's addiction and all that goes with it.

Not being an addict yourself, you may not understand how your spouse can put whatever substance he or she is addicted to before you and your children. Unfortunately, that is part of the nature of addiction. The relationship with the substance takes over all of your spouse's energy, thoughts and life.

How some couples benefit from postnuptial agreements

Postnuptial agreements are becoming more popular among North Carolina spouses who want to protect their assets in case of a divorce. This legally binding document is similar to a prenuptial agreement, but the main difference is that it's signed during the marriage.

Signing a postnuptial agreement does not necessarily raise red flags or indicate that a marriage is doomed to failure. Some spouses decide to sign a postnup to reset their finances and add clarity to marital assets. For example, these documents have helped some partners with differences in opinion on how money should be spent. If one spouse is better with money than the other, a postnup can help the couple establish new money routines. This document could also be beneficial in a situation where one partner is expecting a large inheritance.

Creating a custody plan that is age-appropriate

Parents in North Carolina who decide to divorce may have to rapidly change their relationship with one another. It can be challenging to adapt to co-parenting for any divorcing couple, even those who have a relatively amicable understanding with their former partners. Co-parenting can require a great deal of patience and communication, but a solid parenting plan can help get things started in a positive direction. The approach to child custody and schedules can vary depending on how old the children were when the divorce took place, and the parenting plan can take that into account and plan for changes later.

In most cases, infants and very small children rely strongly on a primary caregiver. They may be adjusting to sleeping through the night, toilet training and other developments that often require a great deal of structure. Even if the child remains mostly with the primary caregiver during this period, however, he or she should still have a lot of regularly scheduled time with his or her other parent. Parent-child bonding is essential, and quality time together at any age can play a critical role.

Reasons why divorce filings go up in January

North Carolina residents may have heard those in legal circles refer to the month of January as "divorce month." This is because divorce filings are higher during the month of January, especially during the first part of the month. Even search engines see more searches for things related to the topic of divorce.

Some may wonder why January is considered Divorce Month. One reason may have to do with the fact that people are making New Year's resolutions and want to take steps to make improvements in their life. Part of this may be ending a marriage that is deeply troubled.

Is a health care directive part of your estate plan?

Maybe you had a health scare this past year and spent some time in the hospital, unable to communicate your wishes. This may have been a frightening time as you wondered whether those closest to you really understood the kind of measures you expected doctors to take for your recovery.

On the other hand, perhaps you dealt with the illness of someone who left no instructions about his or her wishes for medical treatment. You may have been frustrated as you debated with other family members over the course of action you thought most appropriate for your ailing loved one. These scenarios play out too frequently because only 30% of adults in the U.S. have a health care directive in place.

Are you considering seeking sole custody of your children?

A variety of reasons exists for why you may consider seeking sole physical custody of your children. If those reasons involve the safety and well-being of your children, then you may not have much to consider. After all, your first instinct and duty is to protect your children.

However, if it is a choice borne out of something else, then you may want to carefully consider your decision. In addition to the fact that most courts prefer a joint custody arrangement these days, when one parent seeks sole custody, the matter usually ends up in a North Carolina courtroom. Looking at the pros and cons of sole custody could help you make your choice.

Tips for creating a prenuptial agreement

Some North Carolina couples who are planning to get married might want to consider a prenuptial agreement. A prenup determines how a couple will divide their property in a divorce. Even if a couple is not planning to have one, they should have a conversation about their finances before the marriage. They may want to consult a legal or financial adviser to find out how they would be divided in case of a divorce. It is best if a prenup is created as early as possible. If it is done too close to the wedding, it could be challenged on the grounds that one person was pressured into signing it.

The prenup may address whether either person will pay alimony and what is considered shared or separate property. This might include income, family trusts, any anticipated inheritances and property owned with others. The prenup can include a provision that each person will keep finances confidential and not discuss them with friends and family.

Earnings difference increases divorce risk

Over the past several decades, women in North Carolina and around the country have made great strides within the workforce. As a result, it is generally excepted that women will contribute to the household income after marriage. However, recent studies have shown that as income is valued within a marriage, if the wife's salary exceeds that of her husband, their relationship may suffer. In fact, statistics show a 33% increase in divorce among such couples.

On one hand, this statistic seems peculiar. There is strong evidence indicating that money problems can contribute to a decline in marital satisfaction. Thus, it might seem that a wife who is capable of earning a significant amount of money would be contributing to the overall stability of a marriage.

Steps women can take to protect themselves during divorce

Women in North Carolina face unique challenges after divorce. Financial issues like being able to provide for their children and planning for their future schooling can hit women hard. Studies show that women, on average, earn 81% of what men earn. After divorce, they experience an average 20% dip in income as opposed to the 30% increase in income typically experienced by men. Divorce leaves women in poverty at a rate three times that of men.

Women are awarded custody in 90% of divorces. They have the financial responsibility to look after their children. Although a man may be required to pay child support, whether or they follow through is a different story.

Tips for co-parenting and helping children adjust to divorce

For divorced parents in North Carolina, communication, consistency and understanding their children's needs at different ages can be keys to success. It is helpful for children if they can see that their parents are working toward their best interests. Parents may want to talk about how they can make the parenting time schedule run smoothly. This may include a plan for dropoffs and pickups.

It is important that parents never make their children feel as though they must choose between them or keep secrets from the other parent. Children younger than 10 especially need to be reminded that both their parents love them. Parents may also want to remind them a few days before going to the other parent's home to prepare for the transition. They should show enthusiasm for the child's visit with the other parent and encourage them to stick to the parenting schedule.

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Are quality legal services available in your Charlotte neighborhood? Yes, our offices are located in Ballantyne, so you do not need to fight traffic driving uptown or deal with the inconvenience of paid parking decks. We are just minutes from the Ballantyne Corporate Park right off of I-485. An initial domestic consultation with Kennedy Law Associates is a positive step toward creating a roadmap to a better future.

14835 Ballantyne Village Way, Suite 225
Charlotte, NC 28277

Phone: 704-512-0619
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