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Legal Considerations After Divorce

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Finalizing a divorce formally dissolves your marriage, but it also sets off a cascade of legal implications you’ll be navigating for some time afterwards. From dividing up assets to arranging child custody, this complex new landscape can feel overwhelming initially. As your compassionate guide through the aftermath, I want to walk you through the key … Read more

Stepparent Rights and Responsibilities

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Becoming a step-parent brings joy and challenges. You gain a spouse and instant family, taking on a parenting role with step-children. It can be gratifying. But it also comes with complex legal and emotional dynamics to navigate. When you marry someone with kids from a previous relationship, you may interact daily as a parental figure. … Read more

Navigating the Choppy Waters: Handling Investments During Divorce

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Going through a divorce can be an incredibly difficult and stressful time. On top of the emotional toll, there are many complex financial and legal matters to navigate, especially when it comes to dividing up investments and assets accumulated during the marriage. This process requires careful consideration to protect your financial future. In this comprehensive … Read more

Prepping for a Property Division in a North Carolina Divorce

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Premarital agreements are usually the best way to prepare for a divorce property division. Like most other jurisdictions, North Carolina is an equitable division state. The judge must divide marital property equitably so the divorce is not an unfair financial burden on either spouse. This standard is very subjective. Words like “equitable” mean different things … Read more

Different Types of Divorce in North Carolina

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Although the divorce rate in the United States has leveled off in recent years, it’s still over 40% for first marriages. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages may be as high as 60%. All marriage dissolutions involve emotional and financial issues regardless of the type of procedure or the length of the relationship. These issues … Read more

Alimony After Remarriage in North Carolina: What Residents Should Know

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Alimony—a financial payment usually made monthly from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse—is sometimes awarded in North Carolina divorces. Typically, alimony is temporary, meaning that it goes on for a specified period of time before ending. In some cases, however, alimony is permanent. Permanent alimony is awarded until either of the spouses passes away.  … Read more

Child Custody FAQs for North Carolina Residents

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Child custody is a confusing, complicated, and emotionally fraught process that no parent ever wants to put their child through. To obtain the outcome that is in your and your child’s best interests, you need to work with an experienced Raleigh child custody attorney who can provide more detailed answers to the most frequently asked … Read more

Child Support In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

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Child support is a crucial financial tool for millions of custodial parents across the country. As the child’s primary parent, you have a considerable burden on your shoulders in time, energy, and money. From toys and diapers to educational costs and housing expenses, these financial expenses usually far outweigh whatever the noncustodial parent pays in … Read more

How to File for Divorce in North Carolina

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For spouses in North Carolina considering getting a divorce, the process can seem rather daunting.  Between work, taking care of the kids, and other social and professional responsibilities, working to develop an understanding of the divorce laws in their state can inadvertently fall ever lower on their to-do list.  For this reason, many spouses choose … Read more

What Are The Top 5 Child Custody Factors in North Carolina?

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Overall, child custody and parenting time orders must be in the best interests of the child. Most good parents agree with that general principle. However, sometimes even great parents disagree on specific points. To help translate this rather obscure principle into everyday language, North Carolina law sets forth a number of factors in this area. … Read more

Divorce: When Do We Create a Schedule for Our Kids?

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Creating a schedule for your children and organizing your co-parenting plan is a critical part of a divorce. During this process, you may feel like you are neglecting your children and not giving them the proper attention they need and deserve. Depending on the relationship between you and your spouse after the divorce, declaring a schedule … Read more

Helpful Financial Tips on How to Prepare for a Divorce

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During a divorce it can seem like your mind is scattered all over the place; you’ll make hundreds of critical decisions that impact how smoothly your divorce goes and your future beyond. These decisions affect not only you but your children and ex-spouse as well. The area of finances is one of the biggest hurdles … Read more

4 Tips to Help Your Teen with Your Divorce

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Helping a teen cope during your divorce is a unique challenge. Older children are more likely to be rebellious and keep their feelings hidden, and of course, they are going through their own things at this stage. Typically, the younger the child, the more likely they are to cry and show emotion. It can be … Read more

How To Separate Finances Before Your Divorce

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Sometimes divorce is inevitable. Depending on your relationship, detangling your finances while you still live together may be wise. If you and your spouse both agree a divorce is necessary, coming to terms with financial separations and arrangements as soon as possible will save you time and money later. It is possible to separate your … Read more

How To Choose a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

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A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst will act as the financial expert on your divorce team. The CDFA is the person responsible for creating a comprehensive financial analysis and projection that you and your divorce attorney will propose in a divorce settlement offer.  Your divorce financial planner should have a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) designation. Do not … Read more

Four Steps to Emotionally Let Go after a Divorce

Divorce is a split — and not just between you and your partner. The healing process for you, even if you’re the one who initiated the divorce, will take time. In order to emotionally let go after a divorce, you must make a commitment to fall in love with yourself and learn about you. Before … Read more

Divorce: When Do We Create a Schedule for Our Kids?

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Creating a schedule for your children and organizing your co-parenting plan is a critical part of a divorce. During this process, you may feel like you are neglecting your children and not giving them the proper attention they need and deserve. Depending on the relationship between you and your spouse after the divorce, declaring a schedule … Read more

Helpful Financial Tips on How to Prepare for a Divorce

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During a divorce it can seem like your mind is scattered all over the place; you’ll make hundreds of critical decisions that impact how smoothly your divorce goes and your future beyond. These decisions affect not only you but your children and ex-spouse as well. The area of finances is one of the biggest hurdles … Read more

Dividing a Business During a Divorce

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Going through a divorce is stressful. You must set up new living arrangements, decide child custody, and divide assets and debt. If one or both partners own a business, that’s one more element to manage. Dividing a business can be confusing and tedious. After all, a house is easy to appraise and then sell. Presumably, … Read more

Does Divorce Affect My Ability to Collect Survivor Benefits?

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During divorce, many people have questions about how the separation will impact their ability to receive survivor benefits, including pensions and Social Security. For someone who may have relied on disability or Social Security to supplement the family income, it is vital that you sort the logistics of how divorce may impact this cash flow. … Read more

How to Get Divorced if Your Ex is Not Speaking to You

Sometimes getting divorced is a mutual decision between you and your spouse, and the process runs (somewhat) smoothly. In many cases, the decision to divorce is one-sided. In those situations, the partner who is unwilling will eventually go along with the process — even if he or she refuses to speak to you or respond … Read more

Can We Divorce While Keeping Our Own Money?

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Finances are one of the most significant concerns for most people when they divorce. North Carolina is an Equitable Distribution state. That means if the court decides how to split your money, the division will be roughly equal — but not necessarily what either partner considers “fair.” If you and your partner can work out … Read more

Paying Your Child’s College Tuition After Divorce

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As a divorced parent with children seeking a higher education, you may have concerns regarding who will be funding and how to save for your child’s tuition. In North Carolina, child support guidelines do not take into consideration college and university expenses. This is because child support accountability ends as soon as the child turns … Read more

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for a Separation Agreement?

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Divorce is a process, and it can be an expensive one. A lot of people ask our team whether they need a lawyer. In most cases, the answer is yes.  Recently someone also asked about whether it’s necessary to hire a lawyer during the one-year separation period required by North Carolina law.  The short answer on that second question … Read more

How to Get Through the Painful Process of Divorce

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Divorce can come quickly and out of nowhere, especially if it’s unwanted in your mind. You have to deal with many changes, emotionally and physically. It can feel overwhelming and as though you don’t know where to turn. Take a deep breath, and try to think as clearly as possible. Here are some tips to … Read more

3 Ways to Manage as a Single-Income Family after Divorce

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A divorce means adjusting to a single income, even if that income includes child support or spousal support.  We’ve talked recently about budgeting in advance, so you know what to expect, but if you’re struggling to figure out life on a lower income, here are some ways to manage.   Downsize to reduce spending. People often think … Read more

Warning: Think Now about Your Financial Life after Divorce

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One of the biggest mistakes some women make in divorce is keeping the house. But part of the reason they do that is they make the other big mistake: not thinking about their financial life after divorce.  We’re not picking on women. Studies show women are more often the initiator of divorce. Meanwhile, they still earn less … Read more

Divorce FAQ: Should I Get the House Appraised?

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Should I get the house appraised? It’s a frequent question in our monthly divorce workshops. During a divorce, you and your spouse will divide most of your assets. While many personal items may be easy to label “yours” and “mine” (e.g., an inherited antique vanity, a prized collection), some belongings will be much more difficult … Read more

Beginning Again After Divorce Later in Life

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When your life has been a certain way for many years, adjusting to a new routine can be difficult. After a divorce, life will inevitably change as you shift from a shared life to a life of your own. Life after divorce will not be easy, but it is possible to begin again no matter your age.  … Read more

Navigating Child Custody When Your Kids Are Teenagers

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Divorces are difficult for spouses, but they can be especially difficult for children to endure. Watching mom and dad argue can be draining, even if parents only want what’s best for their kids. Teenagers are old enough to have a better understanding of the situation but are not always in support of their parents’ decision … Read more

Financial Planning for Parents After Divorce

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Many changes come with a divorce, and adjustments to your finances are part of that. Although you and your ex-spouse are no longer together, this does not mean you’re left to handle your family’s financial hurdles alone. Despite any animosity that may be present between you and your ex, it is essential to determine who … Read more

How to Deal with a High-Conflict Spouse

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Even for the most amicable couples, separation is tough. Sometimes, both spouses decide that divorce is in their best interest; other times, one party may feel blindsided, or even dispute the idea completely. Regardless, divorce raises tensions, and these increased stress levels can cause agitation. The last thing you want to deal with during your … Read more

How Your Spouse’s Behavior Can Affect Child Custody

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When a couple shares children, custody agreements can become a problematic part of the divorce process. In some cases, couples reach an arrangement on their own, but not always. In some cases, custody battles must be taken to court, where an outcome is determined as a result of many factors. The actions and behavior of both parents … Read more

Asset Division in Divorce: How Does It Work?

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From the time we were children, we’ve all had trouble with asset division. How do I split this piece of cake evenly? My friend and I both want the same toy, but who should get it? Of course, dividing up a piece of cake is nothing compared to asset division during a divorce. The process … Read more

What Does Life Look Like After Divorce?

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After a long-term marriage, divorce can often seem like the end of a life you once knew. You began your marriage planning for forever, but what you thought was permanent turned out to be temporary. While this can seem like the end, it can also be viewed as a new beginning. Marriages end for many … Read more

Do I Need a Separation Agreement to Get Divorced in NC?


Many couples choose to live separately for a “trial period” before choosing divorce. If you find yourself in a similar position, you may want to consider a legal separation. A separation agreement is a legally binding agreement between spouses which lays out the terms of separation, similar to that of divorce documents. It resolves issues … Read more

Age Doesn’t Negate Alimony in Gray Divorce

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Getting divorced after years of marriage is no longer unheard of. “Gray Divorce,” or divorce between couples over the age of 50, became increasingly common between 1990 and 2010.  One of our divorce workshop attendees recently asked about alimony and other financial considerations when getting a divorce after retirement age. “He has more saved for retirement … Read more

How to Get Divorced Emotionally

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Separation is emotionally draining for all parties, but it can be even harder for those who didn’t see it coming. If a divorce was your spouse’s idea, you might have difficulty separating emotionally from him or her, especially if your relationship was fairly long. When so many aspects of your life are shared with another person, … Read more

Divorce Question: Can We Legally Separate and Live in the Same House?

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If you and your spouse are considering divorce, legal separation is the first step in the official process.  Separation can look very different depending on how amicable your situation. Occasionally, couples want to separate while living under the same roof to save money. If you and your partner are splitting peacefully, this may seem logical. However, … Read more

4 Tips for Financial Independence During Divorce

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A divorce can prove to be a tremendous financial burden. Many find it difficult to manage the cost of mediators, separate living spaces, and other aspects of separation. If your divorce is occurring after several decades of marriage, you may have a harder time untangling your life from your spouse’s, especially when it comes to … Read more

What to Expect: How Divorce Affects Adult Children

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While going through a divorce can have an impact on kids of all ages, the effect it has on your adult children can be unique. If your children are older, they likely have a greater understanding of the situation, which could make the situation both easier to comprehend yet more challenging to accept. When your … Read more

5 Myths About Divorce Court You May Have Heard

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Nervous about an upcoming divorce court appearance? With so many exaggerated court scenes featured in today’s television shows and movies, how could you not be a little afraid? However, divorce court may not be what you’re expecting. Here are some common myths about divorce trials, and the truth behind them. Myth: All divorce cases are … Read more

Protecting Your Personal Finances During Divorce

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When going through a divorce, finances can cause a lot of stress. Divorce itself can be expensive, and then you’re left to live on one income. In some cases, one party must also pay child support to the other. These are just a few of the unexpected impacts that divorce can have on your finances. … Read more

What “stigmas” will I face as a divorcee?

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There will always be people who disagree with divorce. They could be your parents, friends, coworkers, or even strangers. These people have reasons why they are anti-separation, but regardless of their beliefs, divorces are just part of reality. Whether it’s because of an abusive relationship, a loss of trust, or even general unhappiness, divorces will … Read more

Divorce Question: What are My Rights if My Spouse Leaves after Decades of Marriage?

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Divorce is a stressful experience no matter the duration of your marriage. Usually, a more extended marriage means more time for a couple to accumulate marital assets. Your children, home(s), finances, are just a few of the factors that may be impacted throughout this legal battle.  We’ve talked before about the effect your “grounds” for divorce has … Read more

What Stay-At-Home Moms Can Expect During Divorce

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Women who elect to stay at home to raise children face unique challenges during divorce. But that’s not to say they face a hopeless situation.  A lot depends on what the partner is earning, along with the household debts and expenses. If a lawyer tells you what you should expect without a thorough financial analysis … Read more

Can You Get a Divorce Without Hiring Two Attorneys?

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Divorce can be an expensive undertaking. We’ve talked before about how much a divorce may cost, and that’s before you figure out your post-divorce budget.  Some clients have asked if they can save time (and money) by hiring the same attorney. If you and your partner are on reasonably good terms and only need to settle the … Read more

Insights for Dealing with a Narcissist During Divorce

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During a divorce, the feelings we once had for our partner twist and often turn into something ugly. We may think or call them bad names. Some partners probably deserve this treatment, though of course, others do not. One label often tossed out during divorce is a narcissist, and if your partner has this mental condition, … Read more

What Will Happen if My Spouse Stops Paying the Mortgage?

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Mortgage and credit questions abound when you’re going through a divorce. Splitting from your spouse legally and financially requires several steps, especially if you own a house. Many couples choose to sell the house; often one partner cannot carry the burden of mortgage payments on his or her own. Selling also makes it easier to split … Read more

Married in a Different Country: How Do I Divorce in the U.S.?

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Whether you and your partner married overseas in a destination wedding or unexpectedly eloped while traveling, the rules of divorce aren’t too different for those who get married in another country. Marriage is a state issue, not a federal, so the laws governing divorce vary by where you live within the U.S. Still, states will allow you … Read more

Is There a Best Time to Consult a Divorce Attorney?

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Most people know that if you’re thinking about divorce, a lawyer is one of your first calls. But some of our participants have asked, “When is the best time to consult an attorney?” In North Carolina, you must be legally separated for one full year before a divorce can go through. One of our divorce … Read more

In Divorce, You Get Half. But Half of What?

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Not long ago in one of our divorce workshops, someone asked the simple (and yet complicated) question: “What do I get half of?”  During a divorce, a couple will split their assets. These assets are things you own, such as your cars and your house, plus the money in your bank accounts, stocks, insurance, and … Read more

Signs Your Children Need Help after Divorce

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Children are one of our biggest worries during divorce. We asked some of our therapist presenters to share with us: what are some signs people should watch for in children after divorce, signs that indicate the child might need some help adjusting? Here are their answers:  Celeste L. Simmons, Ph.D. – Wynns Family Psychology Anything that … Read more

Why Mediation May Be The Right Answer For You

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We find that a lot of our workshop participants are under the impression that they have to go through the court system to settle their divorce case. This is not true. There are other options, such as mediation, which gives you a bit more control. Mediation is a method used in alternate dispute resolution when … Read more

How Can I Legally Prove Marital Misconduct?

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North Carolina recognizes marital misconduct as a reason for legal separation; it can also leverage the post-separation support. No matter what form of misconduct your spouse may have committed (or still be committing), you may want to gather some evidence to aid your case.  However, you have to be careful about getting this information. Collecting … Read more

Who Pays for the Divorce?

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The cost of divorce is something a lot of people worry about. You already know the costs will mount as you look for a new place to live and begin paying separate bills. How will you get the money to pay the divorce attorney’s fees? Also, there are other professionals to consider such as financial … Read more

Co-Parenting: The Pros and Cons of Nesting Agreements

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Nesting agreements between parents going through divorce are becoming more common. Also known as “birds nesting,” this arrangement is one approach for parents concerned about how their children will handle the myriad changes divorce brings to family life. Here are some pros and cons to consider to decide if this path is a good one … Read more

How to Keep the Kids Out of Your Divorce

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Kids are often the biggest concern people list when discussing divorce. How will they be affected? What can we do to make it easier? There’s a good reason to be concerned: children caught in the middle of their parents’ divorce fare far worse, with more emotional problems, lower grades, and behavior struggles. When your kids … Read more

What Is A Dependent Spouse In North Carolina?

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Alimony is not as common as it once was. Alimony might be awarded during the separation period (temporary alimony), but there is no guarantee of that or any alimony following a divorce. In North Carolina, only a dependent spouse is eligible to receive alimony following a divorce. What does that mean? Let’s take a look … Read more

How to Tell Someone You Want a Divorce

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You’ve been thinking about divorce for months. You’ve attended our divorce workshop in Raleigh. You’ve spoken to a divorce attorney, a financial advisor, maybe a therapist. After a lot of soul searching, you decide yes, divorce is the right path. Now, it’s time to separate from your partner. How do you tell him or her? … Read more

A Case for Child Support When Parents Have 50/50 Custody

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Child custody and child support prompt plenty of questions. Decisions surrounding the children are one of the most important parts of divorce and tend to cause the most conflict. We heard this excellent question recently at our Raleigh divorce workshop. Because it’s a frequently asked question, we thought we’d share the answer. Q: If the … Read more

How Do I Get My Financial Records If My Spouse Controls The Logins?

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During the divorce process, you’ll need to list your individual assets and debts, credit card balances, income information, and possibly even a monthly budget. Some states also require past tax returns and W-2s.  Gathering the Financial DataOne route to get this information is by logging into your various bank and credit accounts online and getting … Read more

How Can I Convince My Spouse to Divorce Amicably?


Divorce on peaceful terms is far easier and will certainly cost less than a divorce full of contention. An amicable divorce is also far better if you have children. After all, you’re going to continue to be involved somewhat in each other’s lives. But if your spouse doesn’t want a divorce, he or she may put up … Read more

What Should I Do If My Spouse Accuses Me Of Cheating?

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Adultery is a serious thing, one of the reasons a marriage may end in divorce. But what if your spouse or partner accuses you of cheating when you are completely innocent? This will play out in two ways:  In scenario one, your partner will realize his or her error and (hopefully) apologize. The whole incident … Read more

How Are Student Loans Handled During A Divorce?

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During divorce, you must split your assets as well as your debts. While we’ve covered various ways to divide debts, students loans can be particularly frustrating for couples. Must both of you pay for one person’s student loans? According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the average debt in 2012 for a student with a bachelor’s degree … Read more

Supporting Your Teenager During Separation and Divorce


The stress of divorce strikes everyone at one time or another during the process, but teenagers can compound the emotional upheaval at home.  As one therapist puts it, teenagers are in the middle of figuring out their identities as humans, and divorce throws a wrench into the process. Although teens may appear mature in some cases, … Read more

3 Common Child Custody Questions

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Child custody is one of the two biggest stressors during divorce. (Money is the other one.) That’s why it’s often the source of most questions asked during our Raleigh divorce workshop each month. While of every situation is different, we rounded up three questions from our recent workshops to answer here. Please note: You must … Read more

How To Co-Parent When You’re Not On Talking Terms


Divorce means separating from your partner, but if you have children, that person will always be part of your life. If you and your partner can barely speak to each other without anger, co-parenting is going to be difficult. And if your ex is unreasonable or bent on making your life miserable, it’s going to be even … Read more

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

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Collaborative divorce is one way to approach the divorce process. While this approach is not for everyone, if both partners are on good terms, it can make divorce as easy as possible. What is Collaborative Divorce? Collaborative divorce is basically what it sounds like: the two partners work together to figure out the details of … Read more

How to Make a Case for Spousal Support


Spousal support, also known as alimony, is not guaranteed, even if you do not work outside the home. If you plan to request spousal support, either for the short-term or long-term, you’ll have to make your case for it. But how?  Strategize. First, speak to your lawyer about your expectations and situation. Each situation is different and he or … Read more

Five Ways To Manage The Stress From A Divorce


Divorce is stressful. Saying so feels like platitudes, an obvious statement gone stale from too many repeats. But the stress of divorce is unique, one of those situations you cannot fully understand until you’ve lived through it. Suddenly, you’re in this club and only people who have been there really grasp what you’re going through. … Read more

Can I Get an Annulment Instead of a Divorce?

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Couples who have not been married very long may be wondering about annulment. Annulment sounds like a shortcut, an easier way to break off the marriage and start over. But annulment isn’t necessarily the easy path some imagine, and not everyone qualifies. Here is what you need to know about annulment in North Carolina. What … Read more

Is an IRA Joint Property In A Divorce?

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An IRA and other retirement money is often a concern during divorce. If you both have retirement accounts, you may feel less worried. However, women who haven’t worked outside the home in many years do not have their own retirement accounts and are understandably nervous about their financial future. During our divorce workshops each month, we receive … Read more

6 Tips for the Long-Distance Parent After Divorce

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Divorce brings a lot of change, including, of course, one spouse moving to a new home. For children, seeing their parents live separately is hard enough. But if one parent moves to a new city or state, that separation feels even worse. Just as you no doubt will miss your child if you moved, he or … Read more

Grandparents Rights After A Divorce In North Carolina

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Divorce brings up a lot of questions about child support and child custody. The partners who are splitting bear most of the weight while making these decisions, but there is one group of people who may also feel concerned: grandparents. Grandparents’ Custodial Rights If you are the grandparent, unfortunately, you do not have many legal … Read more

What Happens to an Inheritance During a Divorce?

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Splitting up money and assets during divorce rarely seems fair to either party. And if you have inherited a large sum of money from a relative or friend, you might feel even more concerned about the division: will you have to share that inheritance with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse? Whether you have to split that money depends … Read more

Pitfalls To Avoid When Dividing Retirement Assets

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As you and your partner divorce, you’ll be dividing up debts and assets. Retirement assets usually cause the most confusion. In some cases, only one person is contributing to those accounts, so some assume that asset belongs to the person who contributed. If both spouses work and each have a retirement account, both parties assume the … Read more

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