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Greenville Family Law Blog

Rights of a Surviving Spouse

Author David Silver teaches The Legal Environment of Business in ECU's Department of Finance. Dave is also a Partner with The Graham.Nuckolls.Conner Law Firm in Greenville, specializing in Elder Law

The most common estate plan that I create in my NC law practice leaves everything to spouse if spouse is then living, otherwise everything to kids. However, I occasionally have clients who don't want everything or anything to go to their spouses. This is particularly common when there is marital discord, blended families after a second marriage, or one spouse is suffering from health issues. We can draft a Will to say anything, but what rights does a disinherited surviving spouse have against their deceased spouse's estate?

Alternative dispute resolution can help you resolve your case

Sometimes, divorces aren't all bad. If you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse can work together, you could be able to avoid lengthy litigation and drawn out court dates. What if you run into a snag, though? Is there an alternative to turning to the judge for help?

Alternative dispute resolution can help you get through your family law concerns without as much stress or anxiety as you may think. This process help you settle disputes without litigation. This process is helpful because in many cases, you can settle your issues without the need for expensive court dates or drawn out proceedings.

What's the difference between a legal separation and divorce?

When you're in a marriage that isn't working out, you have two real options. The first is to separate, and the second is to get a divorce. Legal separation and divorce aren't the same, even though they have similar outcomes in some ways. For instance, a legal separation can help you divide your assets, but a divorce legally dissolves your marriage. In both cases, you are able to return to living a life on your own and away from your spouse.

With a legal separation, you can work through many parts of a divorce without actually going through one. For example, your attorneys could help you both determine separation maintenance, child support payments and custody arrangements. Property division can also be worked through during a legal separation.

How can you seek out child support in North Carolina?

You may have recently decided to get a divorce, or maybe you've never been married to the mother or father of your child. Whatever the case may be, your child deserves to receive child support from the non-custodial parent. This support is there to enhance your child's life and to provide the support that two parents would provide if they lived together and raised the child in the same home.

When it's time to decide on child support, it's important to go through the correct legal channels. The North Carolina court system has several ways of determining and recognizing child support orders. You can create a Voluntary Support Agreement with your child's parent, for instance, and ask a judge to approve it.

Dad obtains custody after mother takes kids out of state

Child custody arrangements can sometimes be difficult to determine when a divorce has not yet been finalized. It's important not to remove your children from their home state, though, unless the other parent has given permission. Doing this can make it appear like you're trying to separate your children from your spouse, and unless there is a good reason to do so, it can lead to troubling legal consequences.

The father of a child who was attacked and sexually assaulted in the woods in Arlington has been given custody of the little girl. According to the Nov. 10 news, the father had been in a custody dispute with his wife when the incident occurred, and both had injunctions against each other.

2 tips to avoid turning arguments into marriage-ending conflicts

You might be trying to decide if you want to go through a divorce, but you may also be considering counseling or ways to save your marriage. One thing you can do to help your marriage is to decide on different ways to approach arguments. Here are a couple ways that you can argue and come out feeling better about the conflict.

One of the first things you can do if an argument is on the horizon is to start softly. Instead of speaking to the other person with an accusatory voice, begin by asking a question and resisting the urge to yell at the other person. You should ease into your conversation by being calm and respectful. Typically, if you approach conversations by being aggressive, the person will be aggressive back and neither of you will feel positive about the situation.

Determining shared and separate property allocations

When you're going to get a divorce, one of the things that you have to determine is who owns what. Marital property is primarily property that you have gained during your marriage, but there are some items, like items you had before your marriage, that may be marital property now or still be considered yours alone.

There are two different kinds of states in the United States when it comes to divorce. The first is a common law property state and the second is a community property state. Why is it important to understand both? Once you do, better decision about which state you want to get a divorce in, particularly if your spouse has moved and is a resident of a different state.

President aims to reduce child support burden on inmates

For parents who are incarcerated, a new plan to reform child support payment rules could be beneficial. According to the news from Oct.16, the president has been looking at child support payments and how they become a crippling debt for those who are incarcerated.

He plans to overhaul the rules that govern how much prisoners have to pay, so they don't end up with such high debts. The new rules would allow incarcerated parents to lower the amount of child support they pay while they're in prison, which would have a large impact on the amounts of debt accrued during prison sentences and help make prisoners more stable once they're released.

Kidnapped boy still in Guatemala despite custody violation

If you're worried about child custody arrangements and are concerned your child may be taken, you're not alone. Many parents have this fear, and with the right support and evidence, your attorney can make a case to the court to restrict visitation or custody rights.

When parents don't act with enough evidence or before an incident occurs, parental kidnapping could be a possibility. A Sept. 27 news release out of Wilmington, North Carolina, reported that a father has been searching for his child following his disappearance. In 2012, he arrived at his ex-wife's home and expected to have visitation time with his 3-year-old son. When he arrived, his ex-wife and his son were gone. It was then that he suspected that his ex-wife had taken his son to Guatemala.

How child custody works during separation

During a separation, child custody rights are every bit as important as after a divorce. Typically, child custody rights and issues are resolved as part of divorce proceedings, but if you're only separated, that can be a challenge. If you and your spouse separate, you can make child custody decisions on your own, work through mediation, or get the help of your attorneys to determine a good parenting plan until the case goes to court; if you have a plan you agree on, you may get the court to put it into place permanently.

The first thing that you should be considering is what's in your child's best interest. If your child is old enough to decide for him or herself, you could consider asking what he or she would like to do. Your child may have a preference of where he or she'd like to live, which parent he or she wants to live with and even where he or she wants to attend school.

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Law Firm, PLLC

321 Evans Street, Suite 200
Hendrix Building
Greenville, NC 27858

Phone: 252-493-6114
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Fax: 252-757-3563

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