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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
It is fairly common for parents to establish and fund financial accounts in the name of their minor child. Often this is done in anticipation of the child’s college education expenses, to create savings for the child, or for estate planning purposes.
The North Carolina Child Support Guidelines currently in effect provide recommended guidelines for determining the presumptive child support obligation for parties whose combined adjusted gross incomes is $300,000 per year ($25,000 per month) or less.
There are many enforcement tools to help the parent who was ordered to receive child support but fails to receive such support from the other parent. Both the parent who is to receive child support and the parent who is ordered to pay child support should be aware of different enforcement mechanisms available. The parent receiving support, the obligee, needs to be aware of these remedies in order to collect past due child support. The parent who is ordered to pay child support, or the obligor, needs to be aware of the enforcement tools because failure to pay the support can have devastating, long-term effects on his or her financial and personal life.
A prenuptial agreement (also known as a premarital agreement) is an agreement entered into between two parties who are planning to be married. In order to be legal and binding, a prenuptial agreement must be entered into and signed by both parties before the marriage. However, parties who are already married can take advantage of some of the benefits of a prenuptial agreement by entering into an agreement known as a “postnuptial agreement.”