Robin Thicke accused of abuse in child custody battle

Bitter child custody disputes have become less common in North Carolina and around the country as divorcing parents and family law judges have moved toward co-parenting arrangements, but celebrity couples are often unable to resolve their differences amicably even when young children are involved. One such case involves Robin Thicke, his former wife Paula Patton and the couple’s 6-year-old son.

On Jan. 23, a judge in California denied the 39-year-old singer, songwriter and record producer’s request for temporary custody and issued a restraining order that forbids him from approaching either his son or the boy’s 41-year-old mother. These decisions are made with the best interests of the child in mind, and the judge was swayed by reports of excessive spanking the boy had received while under Thicke’s care. The boy is said to have told his mother and a teacher at his school that he did not want to go to his dad’s home because of that reason.

Thicke has denied the allegations and responded with accusations of his own. The songwriter claims that the California Department of Children and Family Services investigated Patton for emotionally abusing the boy, and his attorneys say that the DCFS is unconvinced by the spanking allegations leveled against their client.

Disputes of this kind can have a dramatic emotional impact on children, and experienced family law attorneys may urge parents involved in child custody negotiations to put their animosities aside and concentrate on what would be best for the children involved. They could also remind parents that court battles take place in public and can leave reputations tattered and torn. When a conventional approach fails to yield results, attorneys may suggest alternative methods such as mediation.

How disputes can make child exchanges dangerous

 

When North Carolina parents have ended their marriage, they will likely still share custody of their children. At some point, they must physically exchange custody. The actual exchange of the children can be dangerous, especially if one or both parents are not able to resolve their differences.

Usually, the parenting agreement outlines the exact place and time that the children are exchanged. Child exchanges are protected under a parent’s visitation rights, so both parents have the right to spend time with their children regardless of child custody or support issues. In some cases, this can cause a parent to potentially hold a grudge against the other. Disagreements about the child’s schooling, extracurricular activities, and even discipline can also cause disputes to arise. While most parents are able to remain civil long enough to actually exchange the children, there have been cases where the exchanges have turned deadly.

In one case, a 49-year-old Texas man was shot and killed by the other parent’s new romantic interest during a routine child exchange. Another 20-year-old Texas man was accidentally killed by a friend after he devised a plan to be shot. This was done in the hopes that he would obtain custody of his child.

When parents have joint custody, they will be required to interact with each other at least until the child turns 18. If the parents have trouble working together to provide a stable home life for their child, a family law attorney may assist with preventing disputes. This may include scheduling a child exchange in a neutral place and with other individuals present. If a modification needs to be made to the parenting plan due to a parent’s new job or financial situation, the attorney may facilitate an open dialogue that allows both parents to come to an agreement about a new plan.

 

Tips for remaining financially secure after a divorce

 

North Carolina couples who are getting a divorce must be careful about ensuring their financial security. This can be a particular problem if one spouse is more knowledgeable about finances than the other or has a significantly higher income than the other. For example, while an individual might initially think that a 50/50 split of the retirement account is appropriate, this might not be the case if one person is able to quickly replenish those savings while the other might struggle to find employment.

Another thing to consider is taxes. If there are two different types of retirement investments, they may have different tax implications, so individuals should make sure that they are not going to pay a large penalty that will reduce their actual share. Another thing to find it is whether a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is necessary in order to divide a retirement account.

Finally, individuals should take steps to protect themselves in case of unforeseen circumstances. This could involve people taking out a life insurance policy on their spouse to ensure that they still receive retirement benefits or support that they are owed. They might also want to take steps to protect their children and their financial affairs in the event of their own death.

In marriages where there are a number of assets, the process of property division might be even more complex. There could be considerations such as offshore accounts and business assets. If one person owns a business, the other person might want a share of it. In many cases, these issues can be resolved by negotiations conducted with the assistance of the parties’ respective family law attorneys.

Dealing with late-in-life divorces in North Carolina

 

Many older individuals are getting divorced. Studies show that between 1990 and 2014, the rate of newly divorced people age 50 or older has doubled. Gray divorces, as they are called, can be significantly different from divorces of people who are younger. Along with the fact that older individuals tend to worry less about issues related to child custody and support, senior divorcees are often more concerned about how to handle retirement.

Retirement and issues related to it are often a focus because people have less time to replace savings funds. Many individuals who are married assume that they will have two retirement accounts to rely on when they stop working. However, after a divorce, older individuals may need to push back their retirement date or figure out a way to live on less.

Individuals who end their marriage when they are older may also need to consider working several years longer. Additionally, a divorcee may want to consider selling their home to keep living expenses down. These solutions may not be attractive, but a reduced income may necessitate it.

People who are going through a divorce should focus on doing what they can to ensure that their life will be as easy as possible following the end of their marriage. It may be tempting to fight for marital property that has sentimental value, such as a home, but this may not always be the best financial choice. A lawyer could help someone determine which assets they should peruse and help them make a case for these assets during negotiations.

Compromising when one parent moves after divorce

 

North Carolina parents who get a divorce may initially focus on living near one another so that their children’s lives are less disrupted, but that might change if one parent begins a relationship with someone who does not live nearby. That parent might eventually decide to move to live closer or with their new partner. When this occurs, it may change the custody and visitation schedule, and the stress of longer commutes may fall primarily on one parent.

The problem here is that if the parent who feels overburdened refuses to drive the children the added distance, it is ultimately the children who lose out. Anger at a former spouse is not unusual, and one study found that a third of men and half of women are still angry at a spouse a decade after the divorce. It can be difficult for parents to keep a child’s best interests in mind when they are dealing with anger and frustration toward their former spouse. Mediation might be one way parents can start to communicate constructively about this difficult situation.

Compromises after a move may include reducing or increasing child support or one parent getting more time with the child than they had before. The child might even choose to go with the parent who is making the move.

Relocation and other major modifications in child custody or support may involve returning to court and another legal agreement. In some cases, a parent may have additional concerns such as abuse or the possibility of an international abduction. If this is the case, the parent might want to discuss those concerns with their attorney and find out what steps they can take to protect their child. However, outside of these mitigating circumstances, experts generally agree that contact with both parents is better for children.

Grandparent visitation issues

 

In North Carolina and throughout the U.S., grandparents play an important part in the lives of their grandchildren. While relationships vary from family to family, in many cases, grandparents provide emotional assistance, child rearing help and even provide financial support.

Due to the complexities of modern family life, there are situations in which an existing connection between grandparent and grandchild might be disrupted or even severed. This is often due to divorce, particularly when the parent who has primary physical custody is estranged from the ex-spouse’s parents. Other situations in which contact between children and their grandparents might be disrupted include the death of a child’s parent or the adoption of the child by a stepparent or other relatives.

In situations where a grandparent is concerned about losing contact with a grandchild, it may be possible for the grandparent to seek visitation rights. While grandparents do not have the same rights to a child as the legal parents, the courts generally do recognize the importance of the bond that often exists between grandparents and their children. Judges tend to consider such issues as whether a child has a healthy relationship with the grandparents as well as whether it is in the best interests of the child to maintain that relationship.

Grandparents who would like to obtain visitation rights to their grandchildren might benefit from speaking with a family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to review their case and make recommendations regarding a legal strategy that can reestablish and continue this important relationship.

Different types of visitation after a divorce

 

When North Carolina parents are going through a divorce, disagreements over custody and visitation are not uncommon. However, knowing what to expect might help both parents make the transition more smoothly.

In some cases, courts will order fixed visitation for the noncustodial parent. This might be weekends, weekday evenings or merely holidays. This might be more apt to be ordered if the parents are in conflict or uncooperative. In addition, it may be ordered to provide children with more stability in their routine.

Reasonable visitation might be ordered if parents are cooperative with each other and are capable of working out their own visitation schedule. This may be helpful to some couples, since it allows more flexibility for scheduling. However, if the parent with custody refuses to cooperate or becomes uncooperative afterward, the other parent may want to go to court to ask that the visitation be changed to fixed times and dates.

Grandparent visitation rights depends on state law and may vary. However, the court may give greater weight to the parents if they are refusing to allow the grandparents to see their children. In some states, laws are more restrictive and may only order visitation for grandparents if a child’s parent is deceased.

Some custodial parents may have problems with the other parent failing to perform their visitation rights. Laws governing this vary from state to state. In some cases the amount that the noncustodial parent has been ordered to pay may be increased by the court.

One thing that both parents should know is that a custodial parent cannot deny the other parent visitation rights if there is a child support delinquency. The way to deal with this problem is to seek enforcement of the order with the assistance of an attorney.

Triangle Divorce Lawyers Named a 2016 Law Firm 500 Honoree

 

We are pleased to announce that our law firm has been named a 2016 Law Firm 500 Honoree. Earlier this year we were nominated for our growth, operational excellence and commitment to client service. It is an honor to be included as one of the top one-hundred fastest growing law firms in America.

At this time, we would like to use this opportunity to thank our loyal clients and partners who have supported us as we have grown. “We strive to maintain an intimate yet professional environment that offers exceptional legal services. Our firm is a boutique practice without the big price tag.”

“At Triangle Divorce Lawyers, we are committed to helping you through your divorce or family law matter confidently and with as little disruption as possible. We focus our practice entirely on legal issues affecting families, such as divorce, legal separation, child custody agreements, child support, alimony and more. Our years of experience allow us to provide effective strategies that can help you move forward into the life you want and deserve. We will be with you every step of the way, whether your issue is simple or complex and whether it requires litigation or can be handled through settlement or an alternative method of dispute resolution.”

As we continue to grow we encourage you to follow our progress, and stay in touch!

You can view the full list of Law Firm 500 Honoree firms here: https://lawfirm500.com/award-honorees/

 

Jolie-Pitt custody agreement extended

 

North Carolina fans of actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt may be following their divorce and dispute over child custody. On Sept. 14, there was allegedly an altercation on a private jet involving Pitt. Less than a week later, Jolie filed for divorce. Pitt has denied that such an incident took place. In the meantime, Jolie has sole custody physical of the couple’s six children. Pitt is permitted to have monitored visits and has agreed to periodic drug and alcohol testing.

Local law enforcement notified the FBI of the alleged incident, and it is also under investigation by the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services. Investigators interviewed Jolie and other family members at her rented home on Oct. 18.

The DCFS has extended the existing custody agreement for several more weeks as the investigation continues. There are a number of reasons that the extension may have occurred. For example, the agency may have a concern that it believes might stabilize within the family given a little more time.

Negotiating child custody may be one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce for many people. Parents may have legitimate concerns over issues such as abuse. On the other hand, a parent may try to manipulate the situation so that the other parent’s access to the child is limited. A judge will attempt to make a decision based on the best interests of the child, but parents may want to consider negotiating an agreement between themselves. However, a parent who has serious concerns about the fitness of the other parent to care for their children may want to discuss the matter with an attorney.

Source: Buzzfeed, “Child Custody Agreement Between Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt Is Extended,” Claudia Rosenbaum, Oct. 25, 2016

Property division and the Pitt-Jolie divorce

 

North Carolina residents who are following the divorce of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have likely heard that Jolie is asking for full physical custody of their children. Pitt may end up paying child support if she does get sole custody, but if he fights for joint custody and the children live with each of them half the time, then neither will owe child support to the other. The two have been together since 2004 and married since 2014, and they have six children.

In California, where Jolie has filed for divorce, marital property is supposed to be split equally. However, many people believe that the two have a prenuptial agreement. Since 2004, they have earned $555 million between the two of them. Since they married, Pitt has earned about $76.5 million and Jolie has earned around $41 million.

The two also purchased homes in New Orleans and France before they got married. These will not be considered marital property and may need to be dealt with separately.

Although North Carolina is not a community property state, property division is still a major element of divorce, and there are several ways that a couple can go about it. For example, a couple does not automatically have to turn to litigation and have a judge decide how the property is divided. They can work with their lawyers to negotiate an agreement that they are both happy with. This may involve splitting all of the shared property 50/50, one of them buying out the other, or one taking certain assets, such as real estate, while the other takes certain accounts or other investments. The couple may be happier with this more flexible approach.

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