Unfortunately, it is difficult for a divorce attorney to tell his or her client to choose one option over another. In the end, it is up to the spouses to decide which choice best meets their needs. However, what a divorce attorney can do to help married couples discover their best option is to help them understand what each term means.
When couples are ending their marriage, one of the key questions they might have is how the divorce will affect their ability to retire. A key component of many people's retirement income is their expected Social Security benefits. People whose own contributions have been insufficient may wonder if they will still be able to receive spousal or survivor's benefits based on their former spouse's contributions.
Married couples in North Carolina sometimes decide to separate rather than go through an actual divorce. Although a separation may eventually lead to a divorce, it could also be a time for a married couple to work out relationship issues before ultimately deciding to stay married. A separation could take place outside of court, or a spouse could decide to file for a legal separation.
Lawmakers from North Carolina have spoken out about the controversial issue of marriage ban that a federal judge struck down in November. In 1996, legislature formerly banned marriage rights for same-sex couples and a constitutional amendment was approved by voters and filed in 2012, citing that marriage only pertained to men and women.
When a couple divorces in North Carolina, the court will make a ruling about how marital property should be divided between the two spouses. In following equitable distribution principles, the court will divide the property equally unless dividing the property equally is not determined to be fair. Some factors that may be considered by the court include the income and liabilities of each spouse and the needs of a parent with children to occupy the marital residence.
An uncontested divorce is the least complicated type of divorce in North Carolina and involves a few basic steps. First, one party files court papers to ask for a divorce along with details of property division, alimony and child custody if applicable, then the other party is notified of the filing. A hearing is then scheduled, with both spouses notified of the hearing date, and finally, a judge signs the decree at the hearing granting the divorce.
Preparation for a divorce in North Carolina follows many of the same guidelines as it would in the rest of the states. Strict attention to monetary matters before the process begins can be extremely beneficial to everyone concerned. However, it is never too late to correct course and begin handling financial affairs more wisely.
North Carolina fans of actor Terrance Howard may have heard that he is claiming that he cannot pay $325,000 in spousal support to his ex-wife Michelle Ghent as required by the terms of their divorce settlement agreement. Although Howard continues to star in blockbuster hits, he insists that all of his money goes directly to his first wife of 14 years, Lori McMasters, in the form of alimony and child support for the former couple's two children. After taking her share, McMasters supposedly writes Howard a check for just under $6,000 each month to cover his own expenses.
A common way to prepare for divorce is to catalogue assets that were acquired during the marriage, and then consider which assets each person wants. Spouses in Greenville, North Carolina, might benefit from aggressively going after retirement assets in their partner's names, something that many people don't pursue. In fact, a survey of 546 divorcees conducted by Securian Financial Group found that 31 percent of participants were unaware that spouses can seek retirement benefits in a divorce.
Modern divorce settlements are expanding the definition of "family" to include the family pets. Celebrity couple Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith made headlines recently for including custody of the couple's dogs, but the practice of including shared pets during property allocation is becoming more popular.