Blogs

Friday, December 9, 2016

How Hidden Income Can Raise Child Support Payments

The state of North Carolina has established a precise and calculated way in which child support payment amounts are ordered. Those payments can go beyond what a non-custodial parent brings home in a weekly paycheck. However, any hidden income can lead to much higher weekly child support payments.

An order for child support is rendered based on the adjusted gross income of the non-custodial parent. It basically takes the salary of that parent and deducts a percentage in order to pay the necessary expenses for a child’s cost of living.

There are other ways to increase weekly child support payments. Income is considered more than just one’s salary and wages. It also includes incentive-driven bonuses at work, overtime wages, cash tips as well as commission-based pay.

Interest can also raise the amount of support payments. If a non-custodial parent is currently earning money in the form of interest as a result of some kind of investments or other businesses, then that money can be added to the total gross income.

In a similar manner, older parents receiving social security payments can add those figures to their total income. Moreover, any kind of retirement income can go into the final number that determines weekly child support payments.

In the event that a non-custodial parent suddenly receives a lump sum settlement in a legal case or should they be fortunate enough to win some kind of lottery drawing, those winnings can be counted towards their total gross income.

Parents who are out of work and receiving workers’ compensation benefits can have that counted as income. That monetary compensation would be deemed the same as their weekly wages. Unemployment payments also apply to that same rule.

All those aforementioned sources of income can be considered as a type of ‘hidden’ income. It is not uncommon for non-custodial parents to try and hide those funds with the intent of not having to pay higher child support payments. However, an experienced family law attorney will be able to circumvent those attempts and get custodial parents exactly what they deserve.

If you feel like you should be getting more in weekly child support payments, contact the professionals at Southpark Family Law in Charlotte NC. A child support lawyer can work with you to find all the hidden income of the non-custodial parent. For a trusted family attorney, go with the experience and integrity of Southpark Family Law.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Why a Prenuptial Agreement Makes Perfect Sense

Leading up to a wedding, every couple must decide whether or not they want to sign a prenuptial agreement. While it is a common topic, it can be an uncomfortable one to talk about. After all, no one wants to believe that their marriage will not work out.
prenuptial agreement, prenup agreement family law attorney

Nevertheless, it is a very important decision about the future. A couple’s inability to make a decision on a prenuptial agreement prior to a marriage could be a sign that they may struggle with other important decisions down the line.

Every person’s financial situation is different as is their approach to handling their finances. It is also not uncommon for people to keep their financial decisions and situations to themselves. However, couples who are open about their finances when it comes to signing a prenuptial agreement tend to find that it brings them closer together.

Managing money is a part of any marriage and a prenuptial agreement is a start to that unified type of management. It is basically a private agreement that is able to be enforced by the court should the need ever come about. Whether couples realize it or not, it is important to make arrangements for matters such as credit card debt, loans, property issues and much more.

Prenuptial agreement before marriage, divorce lawyer, family legal representation
Recent trends have shown that more and more people are marrying at an older age. That means they have worked longer and most likely accumulated more assets than young people looking to enter into marriage. Student loans can still hang over people’s heads for a long time while property ownership is more frequent in marriages that occur later in life.

In the event that children are involved, a prenuptial agreement would also protect their futures. Making sure assets are protected for the sake of children should never make any prenuptial conversation an uncomfortable one.

When a couple is set to go through with a prenuptial agreement, each should hire their own family law attorney. It is also wise to start that process long before the date of the wedding. A family lawyer can facilitate the process which can lead to a better means of communication about finances, future and the entire marriage as a whole.

Southpark Family Law has a team of experienced attorneys ready to handle all the details involved in a prenuptial agreement. The team of attorneys also handles issues involving divorce, child support and child custody.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Signs That Your Spouse Is Trying To Hide Assets in a Divorce

One of the most important components of any divorce is the distribution of assets between spouses. In order to reach a fair distribution, each spouse must disclose all of their assets. However, many spouses will not be so forthright and attempt to hide some of their assets. Here are some prime indicators that indicate your spouse is attempting to hide assets in a divorce.

Living Expenses

Take a tally of your monthly living expenses and then add up your monthly income along with your spouse’s monthly income. Compare the two numbers and then see what your spouse reports when it is time for negotiating. If the numbers do not match up, chances are your spouse is attempting to hide some monthly income and it is time to consult with a divorce attorney in Charlotte NC.

Stock Transfers

Married couples sometimes accumulate stock over the years and when their financial portfolio expands, it is difficult to keep track of everything. A simple stock transfer could get lost in all that is going on. So make it a point to check every one of your stocks for any suspicious transfers.

Safe Deposit Box

This is a prime place to hide any type of valuables or other important documents or funds. If your spouse suddenly obtains a safe deposit box, it usually means it is being used to hold something you are not supposed to see.


New Custodial Bank Account

If a bank account in your child’s name suddenly surfaces, that could be a sign that your spouse is attempting to hide some money. And if such an account already exists, it could still be used for the same purposes. Look deeper into the recent deposits that went into any custodial accounts.

Salary Deferment

Some spouses will go as far as to defer their salary or withhold any upcoming commissions until their divorce is finalized. If there are no paychecks coming in, it is a definite sign that your spouse is being evasive.

Debt Reporting

It’s not uncommon for divorcing spouses to begin reporting false debt. Any new debt reported by your spouse should be looked into with a very skeptical eye. This could also be an infraction on numerous levels.

If you are seeking fair and equitable distribution of assets during a divorce, contact the family law attorneys at Southpark Family Law. They have years of experience helping spouses through all kinds of divorce. A Southpark family law attorney can help ease you through this process and assist with everything from a distribution of assets to child custody and child support.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How To Find The Right Family Law Attorney For You

family law, famly lawyer, family attorney, family law attorney, family laws, famly lawyers, family attorneys, family law attorneys, Charlotte family lawyer

Family law is very unique and it involves a lot of details that hit very close to home, it is important to find the right family law attorney in Charlotte NC. Here is a look at some of the most important qualities to look for when choosing a family lawyer.

Local Experience

A lawyer who just moved to an area with 30 years of experience may not be as effective as a local lawyer with eight years of experience in one jurisdiction. Knowing the lay of the land is a big help and a having familiarity with local judges can be a huge benefit to any family law attorney.

Comfortability

Family law cases usually require clients to share some extremely personal details with their attorneys. The more comfortable you are with your Charlotte NC divorce attorney, the easier it will be to talk about those personal topics. Upon your initial consultation, you should be aware of how comfortable you are talking with the lawyer.

The Legal Team

No lawyer is going to take care of every detail in your case single-handed. Lawyers are usually equipped with a team that helps them through the process. Inquire about the assistance a lawyer will receive throughout the family law process. 

Good Writing

While there is a good deal of emphasis on the personal nature of family law, there is still a lot of paperwork involved. That means your lawyer and their team will need to do a good deal of writing. Lawyers with strong writing skills make more effective lawyers, although strong writing does not mean using lofty words and elaborate descriptions. Judges want to read documents that are concise and to the point.

Time

Certain family law cases need immediate attention. If a lawyer is bogged down with a heavy caseload, then your case is not going to get the attention it deserves. Make sure you inquire about a lawyer’s availability as that is extremely important. You also want to make sure you can get a hold of your lawyer when it is necessary.

Southpark Family Law takes great pride in staffing a team that dedicates itself to upholding all of the qualities that make up a top notch family attorney. If you are in need of a divorce attorney or a family lawyer to help you through a divorce or child custody case, Southpark Family Law is the right choice for you. 
Learn more at www.SouthparkFamilyLaw.com

Friday, August 26, 2016

Spousal Communication during a Divorce

Couples who are going through a divorce face the issue of how to effectively communicate with each other. Attorneys at Southpark Family Law Charlotte North Carolina have seen often enough how helpful proper communication can be in a divorce. When children are involved, communication is necessary, although there are some unofficial guidelines you can follow while your divorce is pending.

The first thing you should know is that your words could be used against you when it comes to financial arrangements or child custody in your divorce. Your words also extend to social media, text messaging, and email as they are considered the same as the spoken word. That is why you should always be mindful of what you say to your spouse. If there is a danger of saying something that could come back to hurt you, desist communication outside of what is absolutely necessary.

Effective communication is important in cases when a parent is seeking joint custody. In these instances, it is always good to have positive communication in written form. This could be a helpful piece of evidence should your spouse suddenly decide to contest the issue of joint custody. Remember, having good communication in written form can be used just as effective as having negative communication in written form.

When communication is amicable, it is still not a good idea to reveal too much. Keep in mind that you and your spouse are adversaries when it comes to your divorce. Communicate only what is necessary and when in doubt speak to your Charlotte divorce lawyer.

Poor communication should always be avoided while a divorce is pending and it is important to remember that this could be a time you wind up seeing a bad side of your spouse. Keep the conversations businesslike and try not to take things personally. The marriage is dissolving and the best approach you can take is to get through the divorce as quickly as possible.

However, that does not mean you need to put up with harassment or intimidation. If that is the case, it is recommended to respond in a professionally manner by asking the other party to desist in written form. If the harassment continues, that communication request can be a valuable piece of evidence. And if you feel unsafe, consult your attorney who will then take appropriate measures. A court order could halt communications and use a third party for future interactions, thus eliminating direct communication altogether.

Southpark Family Law can provide you with a Charlotte North Carolina divorce attorney who will help you through every step of the process. One of our attorneys can also help you through your child custody or child support case as Southpark Family Law has a family law attorney standing by ready to help you.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Non-Custodial Parents Have Options When Denied Visitation Rights

It is not uncommon for separated or divorced couples to run into problems with the visitation of their children. Many times, the custodial parent will prevent the non-custodial parent from seeing his/her children. However, according to a divorce lawyer in Charlotte, the non-custodial parent has a significant amount of rights when it comes to visitation.

The most important thing to note is that it is illegal for a custodial parent to deny visitation when there is an existing custody order that grants visitation rights. Extenuating circumstances are taken into consideration when a non-custodial parent presents a threat or potential harm to the child. That harm does not have to be physical, but could also extend to emotional harm. As long as neither of those dangers are an issue, a non-custodial parent can take the necessary steps towards righting this wrong.

The first step is to document every instance when visitation was denied. Also, keep a record of every exchange with the custodial parent, which includes text messages, emails and phone messages.

In the event that there is a custody order in place, you can seek out the assistance of your local police force. That begins by filing a police report. But don’t be surprised if police officers are not so quick to intervene when it comes to being the mediator that attempts to divvy up parenting time. They are more prone to help when a child’s well-being is threatened in some way.

Even if the police provide some kind of help, turning to a family attorney is highly recommended since there is no guarantee that the custodial parent will not try the same thing again. A Charlotte family law attorney will use a number of strategies to help on your behalf.

child custody, visitation rights, divorce law NC, Charlotte parent rights
The first step will be to resolve the matter outside of court, but not without considering that missed visitation days should be accounted for and made up in the future. This attempt will also be documented and can be one more piece of evidence brought into a court.

When the matter does go to court, non-custodial parents have the right to request an enforcement or modification of the custody order. Non-custodial parents may also file contempt charges against the custodial parent because a denial of visitation is a direct violation of a court order. Such violations could result in penalties or fines against the custodial parent.

In North Carolina, Southpark Family Law helps parents who are being denied their visitation rights. Our team of attorneys can help bring an end to what can be a very difficult situation by protecting and fighting for your rights as a parent.

Visit www.SouthParkFamilyLaw.com ~ Consultations and Flexible Payment Plans Are Available

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Issues That Often Arise in an Older Couple’s Divorce

Divorce is something that has no age limit as older couples find themselves among the many Americans who divorce every year. While child custody is not always an issue in these divorces, retirement benefits and insurance plans can play a very important part. These factors create more need for a experienced Charlotte NC divorce lawyer to work on your side. Here’s a look at the important aspects of a divorce among older couples.

Retirement Plans
A prenuptial agreement will clear up a lot of gray areas when it comes to retirement plans. But without a prenuptial agreement, there will be the need to tally up assets and that includes retirement plans and 401(k). What generally happens is that any assets added to those retirement plans after the date of the actual marriage will factor into the couple’s assets. That balance is considered to be the marital portion, which will be divided up in the divorce. How that balance is divided all depends upon the divorce proceeding. Collaborative divorces in Charlotte are settled amicably while other divorces revert to a judge’s ruling when it comes to splitting that balance.

QDRO
A QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) in also prominent in ‘gray’ divorces. This is a legal decree that enables a spouse to receive money from a retirement plan or account. This could also be considered payment for spousal or child support. However, that money can also be transferred to the spouse’s IRA as there are often percentage deductions when that money is transferred directly. But drafting and carrying out a QDRO is not as simple as there are guidelines for dividing up a 401(k). Attorneys who are not privy to the finer points of those details could wind up costing their client in the long run. QDRO’s can be rather complex.

Insurance Benefits
If both spouses worked and had their own health insurance, this will not be an issue. However, there are often links between health insurance among married couples. A non-employed spouse could raise the issue of how he/she will pay for health insurance moving forward. Life insurance policies also need to be adjusted and women who are receiving alimony may want to consider purchasing a life insurance policy should anything happen to their ex-husband. Older couples also need to consider the costs of disability insurance, which is higher for older individuals.

If you are seeking out a divorce at any age, the team at Southpark Family Law NC can help. There are so many issues in each divorce that it is important to have a qualified divorce lawyer by your side. Southpark Family Law is ready to provide you with an experienced family law attorney who can ease you through the divorce process.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Basics of an Annulment in North Carolina

Many marriages end suddenly, but that does not always mean they have to end in a divorce. There is the option of filing for an annulment which would make for much less hassle, especially in a legal capacity. Here is a look at what constitutes grounds for an annulment and the subsequent benefits of an annulment in the state of North Carolina from Southpark Family Law of Charlotte NC.


First, it is important to know who qualifies for an annulment in North Carolina as it is not always a common occurrence. Marriages entered into based on fraud provide adequate grounds for an annulment. This would include marrying under false pretense and applies to situations where a spouse is duped into believing there is a baby coming.


Marriages between relatives also fall into the annulment category, as does being under the age of 18 without having legal content to marry.


When one spouse is impotent, an annulment can be granted. However, that impotence has to be documented and proven by a medical expert. Lastly, a person who is not mentally competent when entering into a marriage can receive an annulment. This instance applies to a person’s mental state at the time of the marriage and not afterward. There may be also rare and extreme circumstances, which would receive special consideration. Our experienced divorce attorneys are here to help answer your questions.


Keep in mind that bigamy is not permitted in North Carolina. A person who is legally married cannot enter into another marriage, which would make the second marriage null and void.


When a married couple is eligible for an annulment, they will not be subjected to the normal stipulations of a divorce. There will be no division of property because a judge will simply award all the property back to the original owners. The same premise also applies to debts as the original party will reassume the debts he/she brought into the marriage. When it comes to any debts that accumulated during the marriage, those will be split evenly between both spouses.


Prenuptial agreements are invalid when an annulment is reached because those agreements are based on a divorce or legal separation. An annulment is basically a declaration that you were not legally married.


If you are considering an annulment, contact a family law attorney at Southpark Family Law. Our experienced team of attorneys can advise you on the best route to take and help you through the entire process. Our firm also handles divorce law, child custody and child support cases.