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Winston-Salem North Carolina Criminal Defense Legal Blog

Don't let divorce ruin college savings plan for children

As soon as a child is born, some North Carolina parents start worrying about college costs. Those worries can intensify if a couple decides to divorce.

According to a recent TD Ameritrade study, two-thirds of married couples fail to put financial plans in place in case a spouse dies or the couple divorces. This is true even though around 40 percent of couples end up in divorce court. If a couple has no financial plan for a divorce, paying for college can be more difficult. The College Board reports that tuition, fees and boarding costs for private schools averaged nearly $47,000 for the 2017-2018 school year. Meanwhile, public state school bills averaged $20,770 per year.

Guide to establishing paternity

There are major benefits for North Carolina children identifying their birth father. In many cases, the father will make the establishment of paternity easy by voluntarily establishing it. However, in cases where voluntarily establishing paternity is not possible, a birth mother can go through the courts to settle the issue.

There are two major benefits to a child to have their paternity established. First, it gives the child access to the medical records of their father. This is important because it can give the child an understanding of any inherited medical issues they may face. Second, establishing paternity is useful in that can allow for a child to benefit financially from their birth father. In the case where the father dies, the child may be able to claim Social Security or veteran's survivor benefits.

How career status can impact a person's relationship status

An increasing number of couples in North Carolina and elsewhere are dropping traditional gender roles in favor of equal marriages. This has come at a time when women are increasingly likely to enter the workforce and take over jobs that were once predominantly handled by men. However, there are instances in which a couple began by embracing traditional gender roles and then transitioned to an egalitarian marriage.

In marriages where women begin to earn significantly more than they had in the past, their odds of getting divorced increased as well. This was according to a study conduct by Swedish researchers. One of the reasons is that it can be hard for individuals to adjust to the new dynamics of their relationship. For instance, women who dedicated more time to their job had less time to dedicate to household chores. Men who realized that their wives were earning more felt free to work less, but were not willing to do more around the house.

The role that the custodial parent plays in raising the children

North Carolina parents who have physical custody of their children for the majority of the time are known as custodial parents. While this does not necessarily mean that the non-custodial parent, or the parent who does not have the children for the majority of the time, is not involved, most of the responsibility for raising the children falls to the custodial parent.

There are many benefits to being a custodial parent. For example, custodial parents get to have more one-on-one time with their children even if the other parent has regular visitation. Custodial parents are more likely to be deeply involved in their children's day-to-day life and activities. They also may have more influence over their children's interest. Further, custodial parents are also often eligible to receive child support. This monetary support from the noncustodial parent can be used to help pay for the children's schooling, medical needs and other associated expenses.

Pulled over for a DUI after a long week of studying? Now what?

You had a long week of classes. Besides lectures and labs, you had a test and a paper due. You were on time for everything and turned in some quality work. After all of that, you just wanted to relax. Going out with friends was exactly what you needed to let loose. You started with dinner and then decided to get some drinks.

You planned to have fun. All you wanted was to have a stress-free evening where you could let your mind wander. Things were going great until it was time for you to go home. After those drinks you felt a little tipsy, but not too bad. You had your car with you and decided to get in and go home.

Divorcing parents can choose alternative custody structures

For many divorcing parents in North Carolina, dealing with child custody concerns can be one of the most difficult parts of the end of the marriage. In particular, parents may be concerned about the impact of the divorce on the emotional and physical well-being of the children. Divorce can disrupt a child's existing routine dramatically, especially as joint custody agreements typically involve the child moving back and forth between their parents' homes on a frequent basis. Because this disruption can seemingly make it more difficult for a child to adjust to the changes in their lives, some parents are looking for custody options to help ease the road.

One such option is called bird nesting in which both parents move in and out of the family home on a weekly basis after the divorce for their custody period. Instead of the children switching back and forth between homes, each parent leaves the house on the week when they do not have custody. The two parents could share an apartment for off weeks, stay with family or friends or establish new residences depending on the resources available to them.

Supreme Court rules on immigration matter

North Carolina residents may have heard about a Supreme Court ruling that could have an impact on immigrants convicted of crimes. According to U.S. law, an immigrant who is convicted of a violent crime is supposed to be deported. However, the Supreme Court said that the law as too vague, which made it unconstitutional. The court sided 5-4 with a legal immigrant from the Philippines who was convicted of burglary in 2007 and 2009.

Justice Kagan said in the court's ruling that while some courts determined burglary to be a violent crime, others did not see it that way. Justice Gorsuch sided with the majority and concurred with Kagan's opinion. Justice Roberts disagreed saying that it could call into question other convictions such as having a firearm while committing a crime. Ultimately, the court decided that allowing the courts to decide which crimes were violent, it could lead to arbitrary enforcement of laws.

How parents should help their children through a divorce

The divorce process can be difficult for all of the parties involved. However, children can be hit especially hard. That's why North Carolina parents should take special care to help ensure that their separation does not have a lasting effect on their children.

Many children of divorcing or divorced parents feel as if their actions are to blame for the divorce. Parents can ask their children if they feel responsible for the situation. It's important that children do not blame themselves.

Proposal would toughen North Carolina DWI law

Though North Carolina has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the nation, some people want penalties made even harsher. The legislative Child Fatality Task Force recently voted in support of a proposal to add a requirement for ignition interlock device installation for all those convicted of DWI (also known as DUI), including first offense violators.

Proposal advocates say that drunk driving continues to plague North Carolina and that tougher measures are called for. They note that more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities in the state are related to impaired drivers.

North Carolina drug schedule laws explained

The North Carolina Controlled Substances Act defines drugs as substances recognized by the U.S. Pharmacopoeia that are intended to affect functions of the body. In short, drugs are any illicit substance specified in state or federal laws. Substances not explicitly listed in Chapter 90 of the North Carolina statutes are still illegal if banned by federal law.

Not all drugs are created equal

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