Friday, December 14, 2018

Issues That Often Arise in an Older Couple’s Divorce

elderly woman being presented with divorce papers to sign, senior divorce, divorcing older couple
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.

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.

Friday, November 9, 2018

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 Attorneys.

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 Charlotte 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.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Mistakes to Avoid During a Divorce

There are a lot of procedures that come along with a divorce and certain steps that a spouse should take. There are also plenty of things to avoid and the following mistakes could wind up negatively affecting your divorce. Southpark Family Law of Charlotte shares a few of those mistakes to avoid.

Angry Social Media Posting

Divorcing couples may feel the urge to voice their frustrations on social media, but this could be a costly mistake. Social media posts can be used against you in a court of law and could be extremely damaging to your case. It’s a good idea to refrain from any postings about your marital situation when going through a divorce.

Getting it Over With

Divorces can lead a spouse to become exasperated and give in to the other spouse’s demands just to get the process over with. The problem here lies in how difficult it is to go back in and modify the divorce agreement. Make sure you take the time to get the assets you deserve.

Spending for Revenge

While there is usually a good deal of animosity between divorcing couples during a family law proceeding, acting on revenge can come back to haunt you. One way spouses attempt to get revenge leading up to a divorce is by spending money excessively. However, that money that has been spent could be factored into the divorce settlement and the spouse who did the spending will wind up losing out.

Hiding Assets

In a divorce, spouses are required to disclose all of their assets. Trying to hide some money or possessions is viewed as a fraudulent act by the court and could lead to a good deal of trouble.

Sharing Your Address

Married couples share mostly everything and that pertains to actual mailboxes as well as your online accounts and inboxes. Your privacy is a priority in a divorce and it is also important to keep all your affairs relegated to your eyes only. Your options are to change your passwords, obtain a PO Box and separate any accounts you have online.

Avoiding Co-Parenting

Just because your marriage is over, it does not mean the decisions involving your children should not have input from both parents. While it may be easy to resent your spouse, remember that co-parenting will have a positive effect on your children. The decisions involving your children should be made in the best interest of the child and never due to selfish reasons or personal vendettas.

An experienced divorce attorney at Southpark Family Law can get you through a divorce quickly and with as little hassle as possible. You no longer have to venture into a divorce without a Charlotte divorce attorney by your side. Contact Southpark Family Law of Charlotte today and let us start working for you.

Monday, September 17, 2018

What Awaits You in the Divorce Process

A divorce comes with several stages and there are numerous areas that need to be addressed before it is finalized. Here is a look at what lies ahead for couples embattled in a divorce. The professionals at Southpark Family Law Charlotte can guide you through the legalities of your transition.

The state of North Carolina is a no fault divorce state which means anyone can file after living separate from their spouse for at least a year. However, not all divorces have to be messy. Some couples part ways on amicable terms and this can lead to a collaborative divorce where terms are agreed upon without having to go through any lengthy litigation. But not all divorces play out in such a way.

Child custody is often a main area of debate and if a complaint for child custody is filed, a round of custody mediation will follow. This is a way of trying to agree on custody before the matter goes before a judge. Temporary custody can be awarded while the divorce law proceedings continue and a judge will later have the option of making that temporary order a permanent one.

Child support payments could also be enforced during the span of time leading up to the finalization of a divorce. The same applies for alimony as a court hearing is often held to decide on those two matters. However, these orders are only temporary until the divorce is finalized.

Next up comes the all-important area of equitable distribution, which is a way of dividing up a couple’s assets. In order to render a fair judgment, each spouse will be asked to complete a financial affidavit that details their assets and debts. Once all that information is gathered, another round of mediation will ensue in an effort to reach an agreement before having the matter heard in front of a judge.

Mediation is a major part of the divorce process and could save couples the time and stress of having to go to court time and again. When no agreement can be reached, the verdict is then in the hands of a judge. Regardless of how much couples may work together on amicable terms, only a judge can finalize a divorce. When it becomes finalized, parties can be held in a contempt of court if they do not adhere to the exact orders of the divorce.

If you are seeking a council, the team of NC divorce lawyers at Southpark Family Law can help. With years of experience in all kinds of divorce law, Southpark Family Law will be right by your side through every step of the process.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Important Things to Know About Child Custody Cases in North Carolina

Child custody cases can turn into a trying time for everyone involved, particularly children. However, it is important to remember that the main focus of these cases is the best interest of the child. Some child custody disputes are at the heart of divorce proceedings and sometimes it is for all the wrong reasons.

A couple that is disputing child custody should know that the court is going to examine certain family law areas. First, the court will look at how stable each parent is and that is not just limited to finances. Emotional stability remains just as important. A court will also consider each parent’s level of maturity. These are particularly important topics when filing for joint custody.

In the state of North Carolina, joint custody is not something that can just be agreed upon by parents. It has to be mandated by the court. Joint legal custody will require both parents to share in the decision-making process through a collective effort to accommodate the child’s needs in the best possible way. Joint physical custody refers more towards where the child will spend actual time and how living arrangements will be managed.

Joint physical custody requires something called co-parenting, which basically necessitates a kind of peaceable cordiality between both parents. A history of domestic violence or severe discord between parents will make joint physical custody difficult to obtain. If there were serious pre-existing problems between a divorcing couple, they could likely resurface thus endangering the welfare of the child.

The problem with many child custody cases is that parents carry a lot of resentment and bitterness against their spouse. This could actually work against a parent in child custody cases. Any instance in which a parent tries to leverage children in a court of law exhibits a blatant disregard of a child’s best interest. Parents who do this could find that it severely hurts their chances of a favorable outcome as courts can identify guilty culprits.

Shared custody can also come into play when it comes to child support. Parents who have the child at their home more than a third of the year could see a reduction in their child support payments.

If you are in the midst of a dispute involving child custody in Charlotte, Southpark Family Law can help. Staffed with a team of experienced attorneys, can give you the advantage you need and find a solution that works for you and your family.

Monday, July 23, 2018

How Social Media Can be Used Against you in Family Law

There are a lot of different cases that fall under family law and that includes, divorce, child custody, child support and more. Regardless of what type of family law case you are undergoing, it is important to remember that social media could play a huge part in the outcome.

The popularity of social media has become part of our daily lives and it can also be a form of evidence in courtrooms. Personal Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are ways of showing someone’s character. Many court cases are built upon someone’s character and social media offers a microscopic look at people.

For example, a person’s spending habits can make an impact in a child support or divorce proceeding. Some people hurt their own causes with the things say and post on social media. A person who claims to be poor, yet posts pictures of a new car or recent vacation on social media hinders their own character. In divorce cases where adultery is suspected, social media posts could be used to prove someone’s infidelity.

People need to realize that there is no anonymity anymore when it comes to social media. Posting pictures and commentary on the Internet makes it available for everyone to see. Someone opposing you in a courtroom can use your social media postings against you. A divorce lawyer could find many ways to hamper your credibility through your use of social media.

Child custody cases can also focus closely on a parent’s social media. One of the issues in any child custody case is how a parent’s lifestyle will affect a child. Social media pages are often a blueprint for how people live their lives. Acting irresponsibly on social media can doom a case involving child custody, child support and divorce.

If you find yourself involved in any of those types of cases, it would be wise to use sound judgment when it comes time to post on social media. You could also opt to desist from using it altogether. Social media has become sort of a microphone to the world. Nevertheless, saying something on social media does not just go away, but remains archived. And saying the wrong thing could be used against you.

When it comes time to find a family attorney, go with the team of professionals at Southpark Family Law. With experience working for you, Southpark Family Law can provide you with the legal advantage you deserve.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Plenty of Steps in a Divorce Before Litigation

For most people, the common perception of a divorce involves divorce attorneys and some kind of courtroom. However, a courtroom only comes into play during the last stage of the divorce process. There are many other stages that come before that.

One of the first steps is having the defendant served with divorce papers, more commonly known in North Carolina as the absolute divorce complaint. The defendant has the opportunity to answer the complaint, which could include counterclaims. That defendant’s response could be indicative of how long or short of a process lies ahead.

At that point, the divorce is not even close to litigation. That is when the negotiation process begins with letters and phone calls back and forth, and eventually face to face conferences. This is a time that really starts to determine if family law litigation will be needed.

There can be court orders while a divorce is pending. These are temporary orders such as child support payments, visitation schedules, exclusive use of the couple’s primary residence, and temporary maintenance for one of the parties.

When a divorce cannot be resolved through negotiation, there is a need for judicial intervention, which requires a formal request that basically asks permission for the divorcing couple to go to court.

Once that request is filed, a preliminary conference occurs. There is where all of the issues are put on the table along with reasons why judicial intervention is necessary. Once all that goes through, a trial date is set.

While awaiting that trial date, conversations between attorneys continue in an attempt to arrive at a resolution. Issues that cannot be resolved are referred to as open issues and those are what generally wind up being litigated in a courtroom. Some common types of open issues are child custody, distribution of assets, and alimony.

Open issues are brought into a courtroom where each spouse’s attorney serves as their litigator. It is then when each attorney will present evidence and call witnesses to support their arguments. There is no exact time frame for the litigation process as it varies from one divorce to the next.

If you are planning to file for a divorce, hiring an attorney should be a top priority. A NC divorce litigation attorney at Southpark Family Law will help you through the entire process. Before you have your day in court, make sure to have a trusted Southpark family attorney by your side.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

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.