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Greenville Family Law Blog

Developing a custody arrangement that works for you

The growing trend in the U.S. for divorcing parents is to share custody of their children. While joint custody can help allow equal access to the child by both parents and focuses on the best interests of the child, this does not always mean it is the most suitable custody arrangement. In some cases, allowing shared custody is more harmful than beneficial. Just because it is not the norm today, seeking sole custody of your child or children still remains an option for divorcing parents.

A spouse may not want to collaborate with their ex for many reasons. It could be a messy divorce and factors could exist that stress the other parent's right to shared custody. No two divorces are the same, and our law firm is sensitive to that fact. At the Graham.Nuckolls.Conner. Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated attorneys have extensive experience dealing with a wide variety of child custody matters.

Helping you establish an amicable child support order

We all take steps to meet the needs of our children. While we are bound by the finances we bring home, the desire to continually meet the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly needs of our children during and after marriage remains. Divorce can often complicate matters. Not only must parents establish a custody arrangement, but they must also determine whether each parent can meet the costs of raising the children. This is where requesting child support can be imperative.

Receiving weekly or monthly child support payments can be monumental for some North Carolina parents. It could be the difference between having enough food for the week or not, the ability to pay rent on time or being evicted and even allowing the child to participate in extracurricular activities or going straight home after school. Thus, it is vital to understand your rights to this support and what dollar amount will help you cover the costs associated with raising your child or children.

The basics of an international adoption

Growing a family is exciting for anyone in North Carolina and elsewhere. Whether it is a couple's first child or not, adding a baby to the family is a major step, requiring planning and preparation. For some couples, this means not having their own biological child but becoming parents through adoption. While there are adoption avenues in the U.S., some couples find that the international adoption process means less waiting time.

The number of U.S. citizens seeking to adopt a child increases year after year. Because the number of children available for adoption in the U.S. has reduced, many parents seek to adopt children from other nations. This process requires parents to consider not only family law issues but immigration laws as well.

The cost of raising a child impacts child support orders

When couples in North Carolina decide to expand their family, they do not always think about all the factors that go with the decision. Sure, they understand that babies are a lot of work and they need a lot of things, but what about everything the child will need until they are a self-supporting adult? When a parent thinks about the cost of raising a child, they never think of a large number, but rather how much it costs on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis. Looking at it this way helps divorcing parents better establish a child support agreement; however, does this really end up meeting all the financial needs of the child?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture releases an annual report providing a figure of how much it costs to raise a child. Last year, headlines focused on this number, informing the public that it currently stands at $233,610. These reports have been issued since 1960 to help potential parents obtain financial health before starting a family. But, these figures also help establish child support guidelines.

Understanding stepparent adoption

There are many ways a person can become a parent. They could have their own child by birthing them. If a couple finds it difficult to conceive, IVF or adoption are frequently used to allow them to become parents. Finally, if a man or a woman marries a person who is a parent, they could become a stepparent. While being a stepparent could just be a title, it could also come with legal rights and parental obligations.

While combined families mean that a stepparent performs the duties of a legal parent, this does not automatically make them a legal parent. In order to make it official and obtain these legal rights, a stepparent needs to go through the stepparent adoption process.

Fergie and Josh Duhamel making co-parenting work

We all want what's best for our children. For each family, this can mean different things. It could mean being raised by both parents in the same home; however, when divorce tears a family apart, this means establishing a new parenting plan that works best for everyone. In society today, shared parenting isn't just the trend, it is considered the best option for the children. This also holds true for celebrity parents going through dissolution.

According to reports, following their divorce, actor Josh Duhamel and singer Fergie decided to co-parent their four-year-old son. According to Duhamel, things are going well, and the two of them currently have a great relationship.

Addressing your child support needs during divorce

It is no doubt that when you have a child you are faced with a multitude of responsibilities. While some of these come naturally, others are more obvious and have to continually be addressed. Raising a child can be costly; thus, parents often work to bring in enough financial recourses so these needs are met. But, when parents divorce, they are no longer a unit working to pay for the needs of their child. Thus, child support is frequently requested during dissolution, as it is the only way to ensure that the financial needs of the child will continually be met.

The topic of child support, while necessary, is not always easy to address. Some parents might feel helpless, knowing that they require the financial assistance of their ex to care for their child. Other parents might feel defeated or used, as their personal finances are being explored and cut into. Although this can spark a wide variety of emotions, it is vital that parents in North Carolina understand how best to work through this issue.

Noncustodial parent's bankruptcy does not end child support

Not every North Carolina resident will file for it, but many have heard of it: bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is the legal process by which a person may eliminate many of their debts either through the liquidation of their assets in Chapter 7 bankruptcy or the repayment of their debts in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. When a noncustodial parent who has delinquent child support payments in their history files for bankruptcy, a custodial parent may become nervous about whether those payments will ever be made.

Generally, bankruptcy does not eliminate a parent's obligation to support their child. In fact, an active bankruptcy proceeding will have no impact on many of the family law proceedings that are necessary to establish child support, such as paternity hearings or support modification requests. It will not delay or cancel them: child support matters continue throughout a bankruptcy proceeding.

New Year may be a good time to start stepparent adoption process

Last week, this blog shared an article on the stepparent adoption process. There are a number of legal factors that must be satisfied for a person to adopt the child of their spouse, and meeting those requirements can become a lengthy and sometimes difficult process. Individuals who are interested in beginning the stepparent adoption process in the New Year are invited to contact the firm to learn more about it.

For example, for a person to adopt their spouse's child, the child's other biological parent must not have rights to the youth. While death and certain other acts terminate a person's parental rights to a child, in many cases, a biological parent must waive their parental rights so that the stepparent adoption may take place.

A review of the stepparent adoption process

When individuals divorce and remarry, they bring together families that may have already taken form. For example, a divorced North Carolina mother of two may choose to marry a divorced father of one, and once they wed the merging of their lives creates a blended family. The father becomes a stepparent to his wife's two kids and the mother becomes a stepparent to her husband's child.

Blended families can thrive when adults and children maintain their stepparent-stepchild relationships. However, in some circumstances stepparents may wish to make their spouses' kids their own children, and this necessitates the families to go through the stepparent adoption process. Stepparent adoption makes a child the legal offspring of their biological parent's spouse.

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Greenville, NC 27858

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