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Raleigh Divorce Law Blog

Can infidelity affect alimony in my North Carolina divorce?

If you are currently considering divorce then you may have questions about how you will maintain your living conditions after separating from your spouse. This is a common concern because most couples rely on their joint incomes in order to make ends meet. Perhaps the first thing you should know is that North Carolina does not award spousal support, also called alimony, in every situation.

In fact, divorcing spouses seeking alimony must demonstrate that they have a substantial need of support. This is usually predicated on some manner of income dependency. A good example of this might be a stay-at-home spouse married to a partner who provided the couple's sole source of income over the course of many years.

Same-sex marriages deemed legal in the United States

With the same-sex marriage ruling from the United States Supreme Court, gay marriage is now legal across all states. With this, married couples also get the freedom to divorce. As part of a same-sex couple or a traditional marriage, it's important to remember that divorce is an option, so you should protect yourself throughout your marriage. A prenuptial agreement is one way you can do so, especially if you decide to move forward with a marriage in celebration of the historic ruling.

The change in allowing same-sex marriage throughout the United States wasn't much of a change for North Carolina; In fact, the state has been allowing same-sex marriage licenses since October 2014 when the federal judges in the state decided that limiting marriage to a man and woman only was unconstitutional.

Prenuptial agreements not only for the rich or famous

Many people wrongly believe that only celebrities and business tycoons need the legal protections provided by prenuptial agreements. Not true. In fact, many North Carolina residents may be surprised to know that prenuptial agreements can address many issues that are common to many ordinary citizens.

It's important for you to know that a prenuptial agreement is really nothing more than a contract formed by two people regarding their property and assets prior to marriage. Generally, both parties can identify those items that belong to them before their union and specify the disposal of those items in the event that the marriage dissolves at a later date.

North Carolina's child custody laws

During a divorce, you can have many questions about how your life is going to be affected in the coming months and years. One of the biggest concerns you could have is about your right to child custody and visitation. In North Carolina, the Uniform Child Custody Act is followed, which recognizes a few options for continuing to parent your child. This is the same act that many states within the United States follow, helping keep child custody laws equal around the country.

In North Carolina, there are also laws that recognize visitation for grandparents and to make sure a child's wishes are considered before custody terms are ordered. Thanks to these laws, grandparents can still have time with their grandchildren, even if their sons or daughters may not. On top of that, a child can make his or her wishes clear and live with or see the parent he or she wants to visit. Joint custody is an option in the state, so if you're willing to share custody with your ex, this is one potential option you have.

Am I entitled to alimony in North Carolina?

Spousal support refers to monetary payments that are made from one spouse to the other spouse. When the payments are made during the period of separation, they are known as post-separation support and when the payments are made after the divorce has been finalized they are known as alimony.

If you have depended on your spouse for financial support, then you could be entitled to post-separation support, alimony or both. These payments can be made in a lump sum, or on an ongoing basis. They can also last for a short duration or a long duration, depending on the characteristics of your case.

Can I move out of state with my child?

After your relationship with the child’s other parent has ended, you may decide that you want to move to another state with the child -- perhaps it is to pursue a new job opportunity, or maybe it is to reunite with family members. Whatever the reason may be, you should use caution and avoid just picking up and leaving with your child.

The first thing you should consider is whether the move is in the child’s best interests. If it is not in the child’s best interests, then you may want to reconsider making the move in the first place. 

How can a valuation expert help me in my divorce?

It's important for you to know that North Carolina family courts will favor an equitable distribution of your marital property during your divorce. Marital property is generally defined as anything that you and your spouse accumulated during the course of your marriage with a few exceptions such as individual gifts and inheritances.

Identifying and then placing a value on marital wealth can sometimes be rather complicated for couples with considerable marital wealth. For example, 401(k) accounts, stocks and bonds, life insurance, pensions and IRA accounts may all have values that may be subject to changes in the marketplace, and therefore, difficult to assess. That's where your attorney's valuation expert can really prove useful. Many valuation experts are accountants with experience at spotting assets that may later affect the disposition of your case.

Keeping your home may not be a strong choice in divorce

Memories may fill your mind whenever you think about your home, but when it comes to divorce, how much are those memories really worth to you? Are they worth giving up other assets just to maintain the home you live in?

Before you decide to keep the home you purchased during your marriage, you have a few things to think about. Why do you want to keep this property? Will keeping it make you lose out on other assets that you want during your divorce? Is the property really worth the trades you're making, or are you only keeping this property due to emotional reasons?

If the gay marriage opt-out bill passes, what could we expect?

We were hoping to have some final news this week regarding the destiny of North Carolina Senate Bill-2, the controversial proposal to allow government employees to refuse to perform their duties if they have sincere religious objections to doing so. If you've been following the bill's progress, you know that it was passed by the legislature but vetoed by the governor. Then, the state senate overrode Gov. Pat McCrory's veto, which required a three-fifths majority. If the state house does the same, SB-2 becomes the law of our state.

Unfortunately for the media and bloggers, the House has delayed its veto override vote twice. Speaker Tim Moore originally scheduled the vote for Wednesday, but it doesn't appear likely to be resolved this week. Moore is thought to be waiting for the numbers are most favorable for the override, which apparently means he's waiting for certain opponents to go on vacation. According to a reporter for Time Warner Cable News, Moore calls this the "veto opportunity zone." 

Golfer John Daly, fiancée hit with alienation of affection suit

If you follow professional golf, you're probably familiar with the sport's "Wild Thing," John Daly. He smokes, records music, and wears pants that are brightly colored, even for golf. He has been married and divorced four times, and he's currently engaged to his female caddie, Anna Cladakis.

His life, as described by the Washington Post, is more colorful than his golf attire -- and he's now involved in an alienation of affection lawsuit brought by his most recent ex-wife, Sherrie Allison Miller. Also called "heartbalm" or "criminal conversation" lawsuits, these cases are meant to hold people responsible for cheating that breaks up marriages.

Firm founder Jonathan Breeden has earned his nickname of "The Bulldog." He takes a direct, straight ahead approach at resolving his client's family law, criminal law, and business related problems. He knows when it's in your best interests to negotiate a resolution or litigate your case in court.
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