1. Control distribution of assets – You wouldn’t hand over your car keys to a child who has not had proper preparation driving, and chances are you would not want to hand over all your assets to a teenager either. But if both parents die at the same time, or while their children are still minors, the children would inherit all the assets upon their 18th birthdays. A trust allows you to specify how and when you want your children to inherit.
2. Protect assets from creditors – Placing an inheritance in a trust ensures that those assets are protected from your heir’s, or their spouse’s, creditors. A properly drafted trust can protect all your assets throughout your beneficiary’s lifetime from divorce, liability, lawsuits, and other judgments.
3. Protect inheritance from spendthrift heirs – Not everyone is good with money. If your heirs fall into that category, you can use a trust to ensure the assets are not frittered away due to spendthrift behavior.
4. Provide for children of prior marriage or relationship – You can use a trust to both provide for your current spouse and any children from a previous relationship. By doing so, you can prevent pain, confusion, and arguing, which may exist in blended family situations.
5. Provide for a special needs heir – Leaving assets outright to an heir with special needs could disqualify them from receiving important government benefits. Leaving those assets in trust bypasses this potential risk.
6. Avoid probate – Assets can pass to heirs without going through probate by using a trust, saving beneficiaries the time and expense of the probate process. Probate is an expensive, public, and unnecessary court process you can keep your family from having to deal with.
7. Protect privacy – Once a will is entered into probate, it becomes public record, and anyone may access information on what someone inherited. A trust, on the other hand, is a private document that protects your family’s privacy.
If you need to arrange a consultation with an estate planning attorney, contact Adkins Law or call (704) 274-5677.
Domestic violence is attempting to cause or intentionally causing bodily injury or placing the victim in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Continued harassment can constitute domestic violence if it causes substantial emotional distress. There needs to be a current or former relationship between the victim and abuser such as spouses, parent / child, household members, or boyfriend / girlfriend.
You may include a request to change your name in your divorce complaint. The name change can be included in the divorce judgment. You cannot change your name to any name in this process - you may only resume your maiden name. You may also resume a former marital name under certain circumstances. In the alternative, you may make a request to resume a former name after the divorce has been entered by filing the appropriate application with the clerk, and paying a fee.
Mediation is when a neutral third party helps facilitate an agreement between the parties. The mediator does not make decisions. The parties make the decisions, but the mediator helps them along. You can do private mediation before or after a complaint has been filed. You can address custody, child support, alimony, and property issues in mediation. Mediation is generally less expensive and not as time-consuming as court. The parties control the outcome. The entire process can be settled in one day, and you can leave a private mediation with a binding settlement document. The process is civil and dignified. It can set the tone for how the parties deal with each other from that point forward. If the parties are able to resolve the issues incident to their separation at mediation, typically they work together and treat each other better in subsequent dealings with children or otherwise. You do not necessarily need a lawyer for mediation, but one can help guide you in making educated decisions. A non-lawyer mediator will not know the law, or be permitted in providing you with legal advice. Without adequate representation, you could lose or waive rights you did not know you had - or agree to something that may not be in your best interests.
North Carolina state law requires that child support be determined by a formula through the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines assume that the child should receive a proportional amount of each parent’s monthly income as if they lived together. Thee guidelines are intended to meet the needs of the children, while remaining fair to both parties.
Child support orders specify the amount of money that a non-custodial parent must pay. The formula used to calculate the amount of support necessary involves two steps.
These guidelines also consider other biological children each party may have, as well as child care costs and medical insurance costs for the child(ren) in the order.
You should also know that:
How does the process work?
The non-custodial parents are served with a Civil Summons and Complaint. They can respond to these documents in one of the following ways:
If the non-custodial parent does not respond or appear in court, the court will accept the information contained in the Complaint to Establish Support as true and will issue an order to pay child support based on that information.
It is always easier for everyone if both parties work together to establish a child support order. By reaching an agreement that is based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines, a court hearing is not required.