Durham Family Law Blog

Estate planning documents everyone should have

When most people think about their financial future, they tend to focus on paying down bills, retirement accounts or saving for their child's education. However, planning for their family's future after they are gone is usually an afterthought.

A 2019 Caring.com survey found that while 76% of Americans believe having a will is important, only 40% have taken action to put an estate plan in place.

False allegations of domestic violence hurt caring fathers

Domestic violence is a real problem that affects countless families. Whenever someone makes a false report of abuse, it undermines the issue for people who are truly affected, as well as harms those who are falsely accused. Feelings of betrayal, hurt and injustice often haunt the wrongfully accused. You may want to learn about your options if you have been falsely accused by your spouse of abusing your family. 

Women, as well as men, can be abusive. However, fathers are usually the ones who lose visitation and parenting rights when their spouses accuse them of domestic violence. This is to protect partners and children who are being abused.

Mediation vs. collaborative divorce: Which option is best?

To begin this comparison, you’ll first need to know the descriptions of mediation and a collaborative divorce.

Mediation is often a cooperative method that couples choose who believe they can resolve their differences with the help of only one other individual, a mediator. The mediator can be a trained attorney, but many skilled mediators are not attorneys. If you are willing to peacefully work through your issues and effectively compromise without the presence of attorneys, mediation may be right for you.

3 tips for co-parenting through the holidays

The holiday season is a time for gathering with family and celebrating the important things in life. While it may seem like it should be a relaxing, fun-filled occasion, any parent knows it can also be quite stressful. This is especially true in the wake of a divorce.

Figuring out whether - and how - you'll share your children with your ex over the holidays can be a tense discussion. However, establishing clear guidelines with your co-parent can enable both of you to have the same expectations - and allow your kids to simply enjoy this family time. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Change your children's custody plan when they outgrow its terms

You want what's best for your children, but what they need will likely change over time. Just because the courts ratified an agreement for custody doesn't mean your kids won't grow out of it.

Sharing responsibility with your former partner can be an essential part of making sure your children grow up happy and healthy after a divorce. But an outdated strategy can get in the way of that - and sometimes you need to readjust the details to ensure your deal still works.

Can my military status hurt my chances for child custody?

One of the biggest concerns for military parents going through divorce is child custody. A career in the military is inherently unpredictable, and service members may be reassigned to a new location at a moment's notice. In a child custody case, this lack of stability may create challenges for military parents hoping to get primary custody of their kids.

Here are some core things you should know about child custody for military parents in North Carolina:

What to know about the collaborative divorce process

The desired result of a collaborative divorce is to resolve disputes; troubleshoot and problems solve issues that will result in the settling of a divorce. The reasoning behind choosing a collaborative divorce is that this process allows couples to resolve their disputes on their terms. Doing so eliminates them having to begrudgingly accept the judge's decision because a resolution has already been agreed upon.

If you were to stray away from the collaborative process, the judge will be a stranger to your personal situations and will make their lasting decisions solely on what they hear throughout a few hours of testimony. Here are some points to keep in mind when it comes to making a decision around collaborative divorce:

Five self-care tips when dealing with divorce

When you entered into your marriage, you more than likely had not thought about divorce. Unfortunately, relationships and marriages don’t always work out. Divorce can leave you struggling to navigate various emotions, including grief, anger, sadness and potentially relief.

Divorce brings additional stressors to an already overwhelming life, so it may feel as if your life is quickly falling apart. The financial repercussions of divorce and the sudden change in your relationship status can lead to a tumultuous time. If the dissolution of your marriage leaves you feeling lost and out of control, there are some steps you can take to protect your mental and emotional health.

Three tips to help your kids through the divorce

Regardless of whether a divorce ends up in court or a collaborative negotiation, it is still stressful. After divorce, spouses have to adjust to a new life. 

However, it is critical to remember that children experience this stress as well and that divorce is no easier for them. Here are some tips on how to help kids through the divorce process.

Are blended families resolving family law issues before marriage?

When a couple's divorce is finalized, as are their property division and child support agreements, they may think it is the end of the family law issues that must be resolved. For many it might be. But those Durham parents who get married again have a number of issues they should think of before tying the knot. A blended family, a family that includes married or cohabiting stepparents, has to think about their child custody agreement and how that step will affect their children.

It is important to tread lightly with stepchildren and half-siblings-no child should feel he or she is being treated differently from the other. This could be in terms of attention or in terms of finances. Children need to feel safe in their environment and need a nurturing environment from all adults involved to achieve their potential.

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