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Charlotte Legal Blog

How is child support calculated by the court?

As you move through the divorce process, you know you will have to deal with a variety of questions and concerns. If you have at least one child with the other individual, it's safe to assume that questions regarding child support and custody will move to the forefront.

It's important to learn as much as possible about child support and payment calculations, as you don't want to face any surprises in the future. You want to know exactly what to expect and how things will unwind as the court process moves forward.

Financial mistakes to avoid in property division

When Charlotte couples divorce, they must divide shared marital assets and debts, but there are a number of mistakes that people make at this point. One is taking the house in exchange for a more liquid asset of equal value. While this may seem like a fair deal, it does not take the cost of upkeep into account. Furthermore, the person might find maintaining the house on a single income to be unaffordable.

Other ways of splitting property may have tax implications. For example, a person who gets a 401(k) account while the other person gets a checking account should remember that withdrawals from the retirement account will be taxed. However, splitting a 401(k) requires a qualified domestic relations order. This allows it to be divided without incurring penalties. The person who receives a portion of it then must roll it over into an individual retirement account within a certain period of time. In general, the value of any asset should be assessed with taxes and other costs in mind.

Occupations and divorce

North Carolina residents who are married or have plans to get married in the future should know that their occupation may be a factor in how likely they are to get a divorce. According to information collected in a 2015 American Community Survey, individuals with jobs that require working at night or a great deal of travel tend to have the highest rates of divorce in the United States.

Individuals who have the lowest chances of getting a divorce include those who work as medical professionals, software developers, actuaries and scientists. The reasons for the low rates of divorces for individuals with these job titles vary. While some may point to the belief that such professions attract people who tend to value efficiency, others may highlight the attractive incomes that come with the jobs.

Creating rules for two homes after a divorce

North Carolina parents who are going through a divorce will have to figure out a co-parenting agreement. One of the challenges families face is dealing with two different sets of house rules. While this may not seem like a big deal, having different standards in each home can be confusing for children.

After a divorce, children need order and constancy. A unified set of rules for both houses can help accomplish this. One parent might be more stern in some instances, but it is better to have the same rules in both houses anyway. Otherwise, it may be more difficult for children to adjust when they are allowed leeway in one household but not the other.

Tips for co-parenting with a difficult former spouse

Parents in Charlotte who are divorced might struggle in co-parenting with a former spouse. However, if the conflict is largely between the parents and not the result of serious problems such as domestic abuse, one parent might be able to take action to improve the situation.

The most important thing the parent can do is remember to keep the focus on the child. Remembering that the child's well-being is what matters may help in navigating the relationship with the other parent. As part of this focus, the parent should limit any communications with the other parent to matters involving the child. The parent should avoid getting drawn into old arguments about other topics. Firm boundaries for the ex-spouse around personal issues can also help.

A legal separation can make your divorce easier

If you are thinking about ending your marriage, you may be wondering if you should have a legal separation in place while your divorce is in process. While some couples separate for a time and either move forward with a divorce or try to reconcile, these are usually not cases of legal separation. When you opt for a legal separation, you will have to obtain a court approved agreement that details the terms of the separation.

In order to make your separation legal in the Charlotte area, you will have to follow the prescribed legal process. Your attorney will be able to help you through the process so that you can feel secure knowing that your separation is supported by a court order. Read further to find out more about the benefits of legal separation.

Spousal support payments can be tax-deductible

It can be important for North Carolina divorcing spouses who will be paying alimony to pay close attention to tax law. By arranging to treat alimony in specific ways in the divorce settlement, spousal support will be recognized as tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes. Because the requirements can be specific, alimony deductions can be the subject of disputes. However, there are methods that divorced taxpayers can use to make sure they meet the federal guidelines.

There are certain issues that are used to determine whether spousal support payments can be deducted from federal income taxes. In the first place, the payments must be part of and made in accordance with a written divorce agreement. Furthermore, these payments must be made directly to or on behalf of the former spouse receiving the benefit. Some payments to third parties can be counted in this context, so long as they are specified in the written divorce agreement or made according to a request.

When divorce meditation isn't appropriate

North Carolina couples who are ending their marriages may want to use mediation to resolve the issues surrounding their divorce and to avoid the investment of time and money that is sometimes necessary with litigation. However, there are certain indications that the process might not be suitable.

If either party has a significant amount of ill will for the other party, litigation may be necessary. Effective mediation requires that both parties be willing to listen to the other and compromise to come to agreeable resolutions. An extension of this is one party not wanting the other party to win, even if it means that both parties lose. Partners who are intent on make the other partner's life as difficult as possible will not be successful at mediation.

Dealing with a Thrift Savings Plan during a divorce

North Carolina residents who work or have worked for the federal government and whose marriages are ending may find that their divorce can become complex when it comes to a federal Thrift Savings Plan. While there is no federal law that requires a worker to share his or her TSP account balance with a former spouse, a court could potentially award a certain portion.

Before a portion of the TSP can be awarded to the former spouse, it requires a Retirement Benefits Court Order. The RBCO can be a court decree of divorce, a legal separation or an annulment. In some cases, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order could potentially qualify as a RBCO. The court may order the TSP account to be frozen, meaning no withdrawals or loans can be taken from that account, until the divorce has been finalized.

Closing joint bank accounts

When couples in North Carolina decide to end their marriages, financial matters are often of significant concern. Most married couples have intertwined finances, and it can take both time and effort for the spouses to disconnect their finances from those of their ex-husband or ex-wife.

Even when a divorce is amicable, finances can be a touchy subject. One way to begin this process and avoid potential future conflict is to close joint bank accounts. Doing so not only helps to prevent conflict over shared funds and financial responsibilities, but it also allows each spouse to rebuild their personal finances.

Contact Our Law Firm Today

You deserve to have a skilled legal advocate on your side who will protect your best interests. We will do just that. To schedule a consultation, please call our office in Charlotte at 704-323-7833 or 877-851-1934, or contact us online.

Plumides, Romano, Johnson & Cacheris, PC
301 South McDowell Street, Suite 130
Charlotte, NC 28204

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