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Charlotte Family Law Blog

Virtual visitation may serve a family's needs

It is incredibly common for North Carolina residents to communicate with each other through electronic means. With a quick call from a cell phone a person can confirm a meeting, or with an instant text, message they may wish a friend a happy birthday. While face to face meetings are still the cornerstone of strong personal and professional relationships, electronic and online interfaces have given people new ways of staying in touch.

Digital communications have effected many aspects of life, and in some cases, they have even become relevant in the family law world. In cases where parents share custody of their kids or where one parent has only visitation time with their children, virtual visitation is an option to allow adults to stay connected with their kids.

North Carolina recognizes different types of alimony payments

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is the money that a person pays to their ex after they complete their divorce. Often, alimony takes the form of periodic payments that one party sends to the other on a schedule and that may, at some point in the future, cease. In our state, a person may receive permanent alimony, if their situation demands it.

However, not all alimony awards are paid in this way. In some cases, a paying party may be ordered to make a lump sum payment to their ex. A lump sum payment is a one-time payment that covers the entirety of the payer's obligation to the other.

Adultery is a common reason that couples divorce

For all of the reasons that North Carolina residents fall in love and then decide to get married, there are as many reasons that they may eventually decide to end their legal relationships. Divorce is a major issue for families all throughout the country, and recently, a list of common divorce causes was published. With reasons ranging from money to conflicts to a lack of familial support, two causes stood out as the top reasons that many marriages fail.

Lack of commitment and infidelity topped the list of marriage-ending events, with 75 percent of divorcing couples noting commitment problems in their marriages and nearly 60 percent stating that adultery and extramarital affairs affected their unions. Challenges with commitment and adultery can fray even the strongest marital unions and can leave individuals feeling as though divorce is their only option.

What is the difference between legal and physical custody?

In North Carolina there are two different types of child custody that must be settled when parties divorce or separate and share children between them. This post will offer a brief discussion of these two forms of custody, known as legal custody and physical custody, but readers should speak to their own family law attorneys about their unique cases as this article does not provide legal advice.

The type of child custody that most people think of when they consider the sharing of children between parents is physical custody. Physical custody concerns where a child will live once their family home is separated into the two homes of their parents. Physical custody can be shared between the parents if that arrangement serves the best interests of the kids, or it may be granted solely to one parent. A parent who is denied physical custody rights may be able to secure visitation time with their child.

The effect adultery may play on a request for alimony

Marriages end for many reasons, and when they do individuals can find themselves facing many scary questions. If a North Carolina resident gave up their career to provide for their family at home, they may be fearful of how they will financially provide for themselves once they are legally untied from their spouse. Individuals who are financially dependent on their soon-to-be exes and who require financial support to maintain their lifestyles may qualify for alimony under North Carolina law.

Alimony can come in different forms, such as lump sum payments or periodic payments. However, a request for alimony may be denied if a court finds that the requesting party engaged in adultery during their marriage. Under the law, if an alimony-seeking party engaged in illicit sexual behavior during their marriage but prior to their separation then their request for support from their soon-to-be ex may be rejected.

Advocate for your child's best interests in custody proceedings

In divorce and child custody proceedings, the focus is (of course) on the best interests of the child. Ensuring children have everything they need to be financially, physically, emotionally, psychologically and educationally stable and prosperous is not easy.

Unfortunately, things can get heated very quickly in these situations between parents and the courts. These three parties (two parents and the judge) all have different ideas of what the best interests of the children are, and they may not always get the whole picture. A father might be certain the school near his house will offer his child the best education, while the mother is sure she lives in the safest neighborhood.

Heart balm claims can be a means to get justice

It is somewhat unfortunate that in many quarters, the idea of a heart balm claim, which as this blog has discussed is a legal option available to North Carolina residents, gets a bad rap.

Sometimes, people see these sorts of legal actions, which allow a victim of adultery to sue their spouse's affair partner, as vindictive and a way to collect money while exacting some revenge. This may strike one is distasteful because, even though cheating is not a nice thing to do, it is for better or worse a relatively common human behavior that many have been on both ends of.

What can I do to protect myself if I suspect adultery?

When a Charlotte, North Carolina, resident suspects his or her spouse is not being faithful, the emotional fallout can be difficult to manage, at least in the short term. Even with modern expectations about love and marriage, getting cheated on behind one's back just hurts.

In the midst of it, though, people might not think of the financial consequences their spouses' affairs might have on them. If a cheating spouse is spending money and time with his or her affair partner, for instance, that leaves less for the innocent spouse.

Think carefully before making a post-divorce job change

Divorce is a difficult time for any Charlotte resident, and that means bad decisions are possible. Because emotions and stress levels tend to run on high during and immediately after a divorce, people may be prone to making important financial and legal mistakes that can come back to haunt them months or even years down the road.

One of these potential mistakes is deciding to take a break from work or change careers to a lower-paying field. Of course, judges never look fondly on someone who does this with the specific plan to avoiding paying spousal support or otherwise getting an advantage in one's divorce case.

Big change in alimony is on the horizon

Those in Charlotte who follow the goings-on in Washington politics are probably aware that Congress recently passed a comprehensive tax overhaul.

No matter how one feels about them personally, it is important for North Carolina residents to understand what the consequences of these changes in federal tax law are, particularly if they are in the process of a divorce.

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