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Should I Try to Settle or Go to Court and Let a Judge Decide?

There are five discrete legal issues that are commonly associated with divorce: (1) child custody, (2) child support, (3) post separation support, (4) alimony, and (5) equitable distribution of marital and divisible property and debts. Although the actual divorce must be granted by the court, you and your spouse can settle other issues related to your divorce outside of court.

Is Student Loan Debt Considered Marital Debt?

When parties separate and one party owes debt on student loans, it is not unusual for the parties to disagree as to whether the student loan debt is the sole and separate debt of the party who incurred it, or marital debt that is subject to division between the parties as part of the equitable distribution process. Whether student loan debt is classified as marital debt or separate debt will depend on whether the party who incurred the debt can carry his/her burden of proving that the debt was incurred for the joint benefit of the parties.

Identifying and Avoiding Parental Alienation.

Every seasoned district court judge and child custody lawyer has seen cases where a parent, during a custody case, attempts to alienate his son’s or her daughter’s love and affection for the other parent in order to win the custody case. A parent’s attempt to brainwash, manipulate, or control a child to diminish or destroy the child’s love and affection for the other parent is generally known as referred to as parental alienation.

Public School or Private School: Which Parent Has Authority to Decide?

A new school year will soon begin and some parents will be making decisions regarding which school their child should attend. Where a child attends school is an important decision that can impact the child’s overall development and well-being. Inevitably, parents will have disagreements over where their child should attend school. One parent may want the child enrolled in a small, religious-oriented private school while the other parent wants the child to attend public school. So, which parent has authority to choose where the child attends school?

What Are Grounds to Appeal a Trial Judge’s Decision?

A party in a family law case – be it a child custody case, child support case, alimony case, or equitable distribution case - who believes the trial judge’s decision was mistaken or unsupported by law, may appeal that decision to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. In North Carolina, trial judges are vested with wide discretion in making decisions in family law cases, including those that involve divorce, child custody, child support, post-separation support, alimony, attorney’s fees awards, and/or equitable distribution.