Monthly Archives: August 2016

Figuring out the settlement agreement

A North Carolina divorce is seldom straightforward whether both parties want a simple resolution or not, as there are often several options for how to proceed. The problem is that each person might favor different ideas.

In a hypothetical situation, a woman wants a divorce after a number of years of marriage. She has a larger salary and wants to use the couple’s savings to buy a new place while helping her husband stay in their home by paying the mortgage. The husband wants to use the savings to pay off the mortgage and is worried about having enough money if he loses his job before full retirement.

As the savings account is marital property, neither party may be able to claim the entirety of it. However, the husband might get a larger part of the savings or more assets as he makes less money. The wife could receive some money for a new place while the husband pays for the mortgage on his own, or the couple could pay off the mortgage and agree to the amount the wife receives when selling the house whether the value increases or decreases.

After a divorce, each person must cover living expenses on one income. This often makes money tighter, but individuals do need to consider building a savings account up after a divorce. If an emergency or something unexpected happens, it is recommended to have six months worth of living expenses saved up.

It is possible to have a less contentious divorce when each person is willing to communicate honestly and work together to end a marriage, and negotiations handled by their respective attorneys might allow both parties to reach a mutually agreeable agreement. If one spouse makes less than the other, this party could be entitled to alimony for a short or extended period of time after a divorce.

The role of the primary caretaker in child custody decisions

 

If North Carolina parents who are going through a divorce cannot reach an agreement about child custody outside of court, a family court judge must rule on the matter. When a judge makes a ruling about primary physical custody, the judge typically favors the parent that is the child’s primary caretaker. To determine who has served as the primary caretaker, a judge will look at a number of different factors.

In family law, the primary caretaker is the parent who has taken care of a child’s most basic needs. Feeding, bathing, grooming and clothing of a child are all considered responsibilities of a primary caretaker. A primary caretaker may also make healthcare arrangements for the child, schedule extracurricular activities, attend conferences at the child’s school and teach the child reading and writing skills.

The primary caretaker is usually preferred in child custody decisions so that the child’s bond won’t be interrupted. Psychological research has found that this emotional bond is vital for a child’s successful development. The primary caretaker could be a mother or father, and in some cases, the mother and father share primary caretaking responsibilities equally.

When it is not absolutely clear which parent is a child’s primary caretaker, a divorcing parent may want to make sure that the court has all of the information that it will need to make a sound child custody decision. An attorney can often assist a client in putting together as much evidence as possible to support a request for joint physical custody. This could include testimony from healthcare providers and teachers, for example.