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Charlotte Legal Blog

Dealing with art collections in a divorce

Some couples in Charlotte might need to divide an art collection in a divorce. This can be a complex process that involves determining the value of the art and whose money was used to pay for it.

In one case, a couple's collection, which included work by Rothko and Picasso, had estimates by appraisers that differed by hundreds of millions of dollars. There is also a debate as to who had built the collection since the woman is a trustee of the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but her husband said he helped pay for them.

Divorce filings common during holiday season

Couples in Charlotte might be more likely to file for divorce in January than in many other months. The two most popular months for divorce filings are August and March, but just after the new year is another common time.

There are a few reasons for this. One is that people do not want to divorce during the holidays. This may be particularly true if there are children. Some people may see it as giving the children one last family Christmas together before they split up.

You’ve decided to divorce - now what?

If the day has finally come that you and your spouse have decided to call it quits, you might be wondering what to do next. Should you move out of your house in Charlotte? What marital property should you fight to keep at all costs? How will you possibly get the divorce and be able to start over?

These kinds of questions are not uncommon for people who decide to divorce. Since ending your marriage is complicated, it is important that you address all the questions you have. By taking a few steps to prepare for your divorce, you may not only find the answers to some of the questions, but you might realize there are other issues you never even dreamed of.

Divorce makes family structures more complex

North Carolina residents may have trouble identifying their family members as divorce complicates how families are structured. Of families headed by someone under the age of 55, roughly 33 percent are headed by a stepparent. Of those who are 55 or older and have adult children, roughly one-third have a stepchild. This was according to data from research conducted by a professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston and other parties.

The data indicates that about 30 percent of those over the age of 50 have been married multiple times. Overall, the divorce rate for those over the age of 50 has doubled according to a study from Bowling Green University. Getting married for a second or third time could lead to conflict over how to treat children from these marriages. Couples may also have conflicts over whether to take vacations or spend money on children in the current marriage instead of those in former marriages.

Steps to take when considering divorce

Coming back from summer vacation or holidays is a popular time for people to contact attorneys about divorce. Some Charlotte residents might be considering divorce for some time before making a final decision, and they might make a last effort at the marriage during these times. However, even if a decision is not definite, people can take steps to prepare for divorce.

Couples will need to share all their financial information during a divorce, so a person can start by organizing this information. This may include pulling a credit report as well as organizing documents such as bank statements, credit card bills and tax returns. People can also start to read about divorce and state law using reliable sources such as the website for the state bar association. They can make a list of questions that arise that they may want to ask attorneys during consultations. Information about the separation or divorce should not be shared on social media. People may want to consider a social media break since information shared online during a divorce could later be used against the poster.

Coparenting with a narcissistic ex-spouse

Parents in Charlotte who have divorced narcissistic spouses may find that their exes have been using their children as a weapon against them. One woman's narcissistic ex-spouse often created problems whenever there was a court action that forced him to follow their divorce agreement. She had just filed a fifth time to get him to pay support when he sent an email saying the children did not want to come back to her place because they were afraid of her.

Initially, she did not take this email seriously since it was typical of his actions in the past. However, over the next week, he informed her children's school, his attorney and child protective services that she had abused the children. The two had been sharing time with the children 50/50, but she faced the possibility of not seeing them again for weeks. Finally, following an investigation, the police told her that the charges had no basis and that she would be allowed to take the children home as usual.

Collecting SSA benefits on an former spouse's earnings

When parties to a divorce in Charlotte think of dividing retirement benefits, assets such as pensions, 401k accounts and IRAs are normally the things considered. Many people do not realize that Social Security Benefits are also benefits an ex-spouse can receive.

For certain relationships, a retired party to a divorce can calculate their own SSA retirement benefits based on the earnings of their ex-spouse. For those who qualify, the enhanced benefits based on the ex-spouse's gainful earnings are added to the recipients own benefits.

Divorce tips from people who’ve been there

Divorce often catches people by surprise. For some, it comes completely out of nowhere. For others, it is something they suspected but did not truly expect. If you are suddenly facing divorce, you might be wondering what you should do or how you should handle it.

When faced with this kind of situation, it is good to search out advice from people who have divorce experience. While certain individuals, such as your divorce attorney or therapist, can provide strong guidance, it is also a good idea to get advice from people who have been in your shoes. You might find these divorce tips useful, from people who have gone through it.

A team can help people survive divorce

People in Charlotte going through a divorce can often struggle with emotional, psychological and financial aspects of the end of a marriage. A divorce can take a while to sort out, especially in a contested court process with a series of hearings and legal developments. Throughout a divorce, the support of a team can be very important in helping affect the outcome of the process.

In a divorce that involves children or significant financial assets, there can be some form of support for everyone, including family members, an attorney, a therapist and an accountant. However, in many cases, this form of support and professional expertise is not as strong as it could be. A team of qualified professionals can be one of the most important aspects in helping a person going through divorce to achieve a positive outcome both emotionally and financially.

Divorce after retirement carries particular issues

Retirement isn't only a time for relaxation and settling down to enjoy life. As people in North Carolina and throughout the United States enjoy longer, more active and healthful retirement periods, their rate of divorce has increased over the years. The divorce rate for couples above the age of 50 has grown by 50 percent since 1987 and is continuing on an upward trend. Even though the overall American divorce rate for couples has declined in the same period, one out of four couples divorces after the age of 50. Departure from the workplace and the exit of adult children from the family home can help to bring existing fissures and tensions in a marriage to the forefront.

However, couples over 50 considering divorce also have specific concerns about the financial and logistical aspects of ending the marriage, especially those who have significant assets. Retirement planning and property division can be particularly complicated in a divorce that happens close to or after retirement. When a long-term relationship comes to an end, couples that have been married for a long time often have extensive shared investments and accounts on which both parties are planning to rely on for their retirement lifestyles.

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

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