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Reasons you can ask to move with your child

Married parents or single parents with sole custody can move whenever they want. For those who share custody, such as after a divorce, there is a further requirement. They may need to ask the court for permission to move.

The reasoning is that moving your child to another location -- especially if it's another state or another country -- can make it impossible for the other parent to see them. If you have shared custody, the court specifically ruled that both parents should stay involved. Moving makes that impractical or impossible. Just allowing parents to move whenever they want could cut the other parent entirely out of the child's life.

Marriage and divorce rates are down

People often talk about how divorce rates are actually down in recent years, despite the myth that half of all marriages end in divorce. We now know that couples are more likely to stay together, in large part because they are waiting longer to get married. This is known to lead to greater stability.

One important thing to remember is that marriage rates are also very low. While marriage is still the norm, it used to be expected for nearly everyone. Someone who never got married was an outlier. Today, you have more people than ever before who are choosing not to get married.

A basic understanding of the divorce process

The process of ending a marriage is complex and difficult. Most North Carolina adults who make the choice to file for divorce are unsure of what to expect from the process after filing the initial paperwork. If you are about to go through a divorce, you will find it beneficial to know what's ahead and prepare yourself to fight for a fair and reasonable post-divorce future.

There can be challenges even in situations where the two parties are resolved to remain amicable during their divorce. Even if you and your soon-to-be ex are working on resolving your divorce out of court, it is still important to pursue terms that are in your interests. When you understand what is ahead, you will be equipped to make practical, prudent and smart choices that will lay the foundation for a strong post-divorce future.

Questions about birthday parties for your child after divorce

After you get divorced, your child is still going to hit all sorts of milestones. They're going to have birthdays, graduations, enjoy the holidays, get a diver's license and much more. You and your ex need to figure out how you're going to handle these events and milestones.

Let's take a look at birthday parties. These can be very challenging, and all divorced couples need to carefully consider what they would like to do when planning their children's birthday party. Here are a few questions to ask as you mull it over:

  • Do you want to have separate parties or would you prefer one party that you both attend?
  • If you choose to have separate birthday parties, are you going to end up competing with each other and taking the focus off of your child?
  • If you choose a joint party, whose house is it going to be held at?
  • Who gets to do the planning and decide who to invite? How are you going to handle extended family members?
  • Are you going to talk to one another about the gifts that you're buying?
  • Does your child custody agreement say anything about these parties or do you want to address it all over again every year?
  • Who has physical custody on the actual day of the birthday and do they ultimately get to decide what happens?

Divorce in the age of social media

Divorce isn't quite as private as it used to be. With the rise of social media, details like marital status are often widely known. If that status changes, you can count on your friends -- and even those who don't know you very well -- seeing the change.

Navigating social media during the split can be tricky. To help you, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Memories may show up without any input from you. For some, this can be emotionally challenging. Facebook and other sites do this automatically, though.
  • You do have options. Do you still want to be friends with your ex? Would you rather cut that tie? Are you planning to block them entirely? You need to do what feels right for you, not what anyone else says.
  • Don't post about the divorce itself. You don't need to put any drama on Facebook or write anything that you regret. Remember, you can't take it back and it may show up if the two of you wind up in divorce court.
  • Don't insult your ex. Keep things civil. A divorce goes smoothly when there is a low level of conflict, so you don't want to manufacture extra conflict.
  • Remember to update the profile. There are stories of people forgetting and leaving themselves listed as "in a relationship" long after it has ended. Eliminate confusion for others by making that update.

U.S. marriage and divorce trends mirror the world

You may have heard some of the more common trends in relationships in the United States. For instance, unmarried couples are more likely than ever before to live together and even to have children together. Similarly, the age of marriage is increasing, partly because people simply live together prior to getting married; they may move in together at 23, but they're not getting married until closer to 30, whereas their parents would have gotten married at 23. Finally, marriage is generally less common as a whole, and divorce rates are increasing.

Lest you think this is just an American phenomenon, let's take a look at some key facts about marriage and divorce all over the world. While researchers do warn that global statistics do not apply to all countries equally, major trends they have found include:

  • People are waiting longer to tie the knot, often until their late 20s or early 30s
  • Cohabitation is on the rise and the stigma that once went with it has faded
  • The number of single parents keeps going up
  • Same-sex marriage is growing more common, and same-sex divorce goes along with that
  • The percentage of the population who have decided to get married at all has fallen
  • The divorce rate has been trending upward in many countries
  • Older couples tend to get divorced more often than younger couples
  • Couples in wealthy countries tend to stay married a bit longer, and that hasn't really changed over the years

One key tip for asking for a prenup

If you want to ask for a prenup so that you know how your assets are going to get divided, you may feel nervous. People often think of prenuptial agreements as something selfish or at least self-serving, which isn't exactly the mood you want to set before your marriage.

However, the best way to ask for it may be to point out that you and your spouse are about to sign a contract when you tie the knot. That's what your marriage agreement really is. When you put your signature down, you agree to an open-ended contract, the details of which will be sorted out in court if you get divorced.

What do different types of child custody mean for your family?

As a parent, one of your main concerns during a divorce is making sure your child has the support and stability he or she needs. In many cases, this means allowing minor children to maintain strong relationships with both parents after a divorce. There are different types of child custody, and the right choice for you depends on the needs of your family, the best interests of the children and your parental rights.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to child custody. What will work for your family may not work for others, and that is why it's critical to pursue solutions that are sustainable long-term. As you consider your custody and visitation options, it may be helpful to know about the different types of custody and how you can make the right choices for your North Carolina family.

Does your child get to decide on custody?

When getting divorced and deciding what to do about child custody, most parents naturally think about what they would like the custody arrangement to be. But how much say does your child actually have? After all, you're discussing where they are going to live. Do they get to make that choice on their own?

Generally, the answer is no. Some children, if they're old enough, can express their desires. They get a say in court. But, even then, they do not get to make the decision independently. It's just one thing that the court is going to take into account along with everything else.

How to present your best self during child custody proceedings

Having a family of your own may have always been a dream for you. When you got married, you may have felt as if you had finally started making significant headway toward reaching that dream, and when you had your first child, you undoubtedly felt overjoyed.

As the years went on, however, your ideas of family may have changed as you realized that your marital relationship was heading down a rocky path. In the end, you decided that divorce was the right choice, but that does not mean that you want to sever ties with your children.

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