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Winston-Salem Family Law Blog

Children and Divorce - Spending Quality Time with your Children

One of the greatest things you can do as a parent is spend time with your child. While it is much more difficult as a single parent, there are certain activities that you can do with your child that will allow for you to spend quality time with your child while helping them grow as individuals. Unlike certain sports activities, these activities are designed to have you, as a parent, assist your child in their achievements.

What is "the best interest of the child?"

If you have been involved in a child custody case, I am sure that you have heard either your lawyer or the Judge refer to the "best interest of the child" and wondered what that exactly meant. I am also sure that you are wondering why the Judge gets to determine the best interest of your child.

Raising Children After Divorce

A recent post to Facebook post about an ex-husband that goes to his ex-wife's house on her birthday to make her breakfast with their children caught my attention. For those that have not seen the actual post, here is the link to Billy Flynn's Facebook Post. It got me thinking about the relationships between parents that are not married or are no longer married. The most important thing to remember is that you and your ex-partner are going to forever be linked because of the children. I have come up with 5 tips for ensuring that your relationship with your ex-partner does not interfere with your children's ability to grow into healthy adults:

Understanding How Mediation Eases the Pain of Divorce

Understanding ALL of your options when dissolving a marriage can make the process quicker and less costly. Mediation is an alternative to litigation that couples can choose that provides both parties with a greater amount of control over the course of the divorce agreement.  The Scott Law Group has shown you 13 Ways to Avoid the Pain & Expense of Divorce & Separation.  Mediation is a tool that the Scott Law Group suggests to further limit those costs.

Family Law and Estate Planning - Willing Your Assets

One thing that tends to be overlooked in a lot of family law cases is the distribution of your assets once you die. It doesn't matter if you are young or simply young at heart, protecting your assets is very important. If you had will during your marriage, chances are your ex-spouse probably got your share of everything. It's what attorneys refer to as a mutual reciprocal will and it simply means that you and your spouse give the other one all of your stuff once you die. If you didn't have a will during your marriage, there is still the possibility that your now ex-spouse could get some of your possessions upon your death.

Divorce and Separation - 13 Ways to Avoid the Pain & Expense

Over my years of practice with divorce and separation, I have found that clients that are educated in how to handle certain situations are generally more prepared for what I have to tell them. I have created the following list of 13 Ways to Avoid the Pain and Expense of Divorce. This list is in no way complete and there may be things on this list that don't actually apply to you or your situations.

1. FIND AN EXPERIENCED LAWYER YOU CAN TRUST - Confidence and trust are especially important in divorce matters. Make certain your lawyer is experienced in family law.

2. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS - Talk with an experienced family lawyer. Be sure to tell him all of the facts of your situation along with any worries that you might have. You may also want to let him know what you need the most. Make a detailed list of questions and concerns you have.

3. DO NOT MOVE OUT OF THE MARITAL RESIDENCE - Moving out of the marital residence may result in additional issues such as abandonment or create a less than favorable situation for you if you are financially dependent on your spouse.

4. PROTECT YOUR MONEY AND YOUR CREDIT - Take the appropriate measures to prevent your spouse from taking money from joint accounts or making unnecessary credit charges. Make sure you set aside enough money to tide you over until property and support matters can be settled.

5. INVESTIGATE YOUR FINANCES - It is important to know what you have and what you owe. Make copies of all financial records and keep them in a safe place until you can give them to your lawyer. Your cell phone is not a safe place to store information. This can save you legal and accounting fees.

6. TAKE A PICTURE OF EVERYTHING IN YOUR HOME - Once the love is gone, it is not long until your possessions may start to disappear as well. Take a picture of everything in your home that has a value of $50.00 or more. Make sure you keep these pictures in a safe place, preferably outside of the home.

7. REMOVE YOUR PERSONAL ITEMS - Items that can be pawned or sold easily should be removed from the home and kept in a safe place.

8. AVOID ARGUMENTS WITH YOUR SPOUSE - If you and your spouse are unable to discuss matters calmly, wait until a later time or let your lawyer do the negotiating. No one ever wins a domestic argument and it could get violent. Moreover, your spouse could get the upper hand and have you immediately evicted from your own home under the domestic violence statutes.

9. KEEP YOUR CHILDREN WITH YOU - If you have been your children's primary caregiver, the children should remain with you. The Court will award you child support to assist in caring for them.

10. OPEN A POST OFFICE BOX - In order to make sure that you get any important mail, and that your spouse cannot take any mail; open a post office box at a location that is conveniently located near your home or place of work.

11. CHANGE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AND EMAIL PASSWORDS - Even if you don't think that your spouse knows your passwords, change them anyway. You do not want any emails sent or posts made under your name without your consent. You also do not want your spouse to have access to your accounts to read anything you have sent.

12. GET YOUR OWN CELL PHONE AND SERVICE PROVIDER - If you and your spouse are on the same cell phone plan, you need to separate them and get your own cell phone plan with a different provider. You do not want to allow your spouse to have access to your calls or to limit your access to your phone.

13. CONSIDER COUNSELING FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN - A good counselor can help you sort out the complex emotions surrounding divorce. It will help you make wiser decisions and may also teach you how to keep your children from being unnecessarily upset.

While this list is not a complete list, these will get you moving in the right direction if you are going through a divorce or separation. Divorce and separation is a difficult time for everybody and the Scott Law Group is here to help you through this difficult time. If you have any additional questions, go to the Family Law section of our website to see if the answer is there. If not, feel free to email us at info@scottlawgroup.net or call (336) 993-5000 to set up an appointment to discuss your matter in detail.

Child Custody - 7 Tips for Surviving Summer with your Ex

Now that Memorial Day is upon us, so is the start of summer. The start of summer also means the end of school, summer vacations and, quite often, great amounts of phone calls to the office about child custody and visitation issues. Having experienced this for a long period of time, I have put together this list of 7 tips to help you survive this summer. These tips, however, are not just for summer.

Ending Electronic Harassment - Civil Remedies

With increasing frequency, our divorce and child custody clients have been seeking advice on unpleasant situations that have arisen through modern methods of communication. Too often, they have been the subject of disparaging Facebook posts, threatening text messages, or incessant phone calls. Fortunately, there are several legal options clients can pursue to put an end to, and hold the offending party accountable for, unwelcome and inappropriate use of social media, electronic communication, and telephone calls.

To put an end to harassment without subjecting the offending party to criminal charges, clients may seek civil restraining orders. There are two kinds of civil restraining orders in North Carolina. They are commonly referred to as "50B" restraining orders and "50C" restraining orders as a result of the North Carolina Statute number which enables them.

Why do I need a separation agreement? Part Two

In our last post we discussed how a separation agreement can sever certain inheritance rights that exist between spouses post-separation but, prior to divorce. Today, we will explore two clauses that are included in most separation agreements. One grants a spouse rights to buy separate property post-separation. The second takes away liability of one spouse for debt incurred by the other post-separation.

A free trader agreement can be executed by separated spouses as either part of a separation and property settlement agreement or as its own separate document. Once signed by both spouses, it allows either to purchase land or personal property as if they were single and unmarried and as if the marriage between the parties had never taken place. A free trader agreement ensures that the non-purchasing spouse has no interest in whatever property the other spouse purchases. Many lenders require such an agreement so that non-purchasing spouse cannot later claim an interest in the property as a result of the marriage. This scenario is best explained by example:

Why do I need a separation agreement? Part One - Inheritance Rights

There are numerous reasons why entering into a separation and property settlement agreement upon or shortly after separation from a spouse is prudent. In this and my next few posts I'll explore a few of these reasons most people contemplating separation haven't even considered.

Contact Information

Scott Law Group, PLLC
422 West Mountain St.
Kernersville, NC 27284

Toll Free: 800-566-2907
Phone: 336-310-8569
Fax: 336-993-5030

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