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Hickory North Carolina Legal Blog

If my ex moves in with someone, do I still have to pay alimony?

When you are divorced, there are many factors that impact whether you pay alimony and how much you pay. North Carolina law outlines specific circumstances where you can be discharged of your obligation to pay spousal support.

As the University of North Carolina explains, your spouse's remarriage is one of the circumstances under which you may no longer have to pay. In 1995, the legal circumstances were expanded to include cohabitation of a former spouse, provided certain conditions are met. The new law was designed to prevent former spouses who are receiving alimony from financially benefiting from their new relationship, but refusing in bad faith to get married to the new partner in order to ensure that alimony payments continue. The law at issue states that cohabitation can be proved when a couple who may be in a physical relationship voluntarily assumes the "rights, duties and obligations" of marriage.

Divorce and children returning to school

For parents, the time of year when children return to school can be very stressful. On top of preparing your child for some of the responsibilities that they will take on when summer break comes to an end, you may be running around trying to buy school supplies or clothes. At Cody Law Firm, we also understand how family law matters, from filing a divorce petition to working through a dispute over child custody or child support, can make this time of year even more challenging for families all throughout North Carolina.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to make your life easier. For example, you can comprehensively go over the details surrounding your case and prepare yourself for potential outcomes. Not only could this grant peace of mind, but you might have a better chance of securing an end result that is better. Also, you could be able to reduce tension, anxiety and negative emotions by sitting down and talking with your child about what is going on. For children, divorce can be quite stressful, but you could help relieve some of their concerns by reassuring them that they are loved and providing them with answers to any of their questions.

North Carolina drunk driving checkpoints: What you should know

Labor Day is here, and what does that mean? Increased police patrols over Labor Day weekend to try and arrest as many drunk drivers as possible throughout North Carolina.

As a part of the "Booze It & Lose It" drunk driving campaign, law enforcement in North Carolina will be conducting DWI checkpoints to randomly stop drivers and check to see if they're too drunk to drive. Even if you haven't imbined a drop of alcohol, it's possible that you could be pulled over, checked and even inappropriately arrested.

Hiring a professional appraiser for property valuation in divorce

During a North Carolina divorce, spouses will need to identify marital property so it can be divided equitably. Cash, cars and homes are fairly standard, but some couples have personal property such as antiques or artwork that is worth a significant amount of money. According to FindLaw, the judge could have considerable discretion in how these are divided.

The Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers explains that by having a professional provide a valuation of items, a couple gives the court precise dollar amounts that make the decision much less arbitrary. In fact, most judges accept expert appraisals at face value. If spouses do not agree as to the value of the item, though, they may have appraisers testify in court to attempt to resolve the dispute in their favor. This makes finding the right professional extremely important.

Intoxication and the law

While most people know that it is illegal to drive intoxicated in North Carolina, not everybody knows what legally constitutes intoxication under North Carolina law. Here is a breakdown of what constitutes driving impaired under state law and how experts recommend that a person can tell if he or she has consumed too much alcohol to legally drive. 

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety states that the blood alcohol level needed to be considered intoxicated is 0.08 percent. North Carolina has some of the toughest laws in the U.S. when it comes to driving while intoxicated. A person who is pulled over driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher is subject to misdemeanor charges and jail time, and fines of up to $4,000. A repeat offender may face felony charges, and the state can seize and sell his car to prevent him from driving while intoxicated again.

3 tips for getting your fair share in a divorce settlement

You've been married the majority of your life. You're 50 now, and you married young at 18. Now, your spouse has decided that he wants to move on. Everything you have is shared between you, and you just want to make sure you receive your fair share in the divorce.

You may believe you're entitled to certain things because of how long you've been married, but it can be hard to state exactly what you're entitled to. How can you make sure you get what you want and need?

How common is speeding?

From driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs to failing to yield, traffic offenses take many forms. However, drivers sometimes find themselves facing charges after they are pulled over for speeding. From unlawful road races to simply driving a few miles over the speed limit on accident, the details from one incident to another often vary. Moreover, these offenses could interfere with your ability to drive, which could make it hard for you to take care of daily responsibilities, such as getting to and from your job.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding played a role in 30 percent of deadly motor vehicle accidents during 2013. Moreover, the number of lives lost as a result of speeding increased by more than 200 from 2011 to 2012. The NHTSA reports that speeding is among the most widespread causes of traffic collisions and that young male drivers tend to have the greatest chance of being involved in a deadly accident as a result of driving over the speed limit.

The costs of underage drinking and driving

Drunk driving is problematic enough on its own, but when the driver is also underage, the severity of the issue is only furthered. Each state can enforce different laws concerning drinking and driving, and North Carolina is one that takes a zero tolerance stance against drivers who are under the legal age and nevertheless drink and drive. In some ways, North Carolina underage drinking laws can also be stricter than other states.  

North Carolina Department of Public Safety details the laws regarding driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the DPS, there are five levels of misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated, ranging from Level I to Level V. For offenders under the legal drinking age of 21, a 30 day pretrial revocation can occur. If the driver refuses a breathalyzer test, police officers only need to smell alcohol on the driver's breath to convict the driver of drinking and driving. Offenders lose their licenses for one year, but a judge may instate limited driving privileges, depending on the individual case.

Maintaining a good relationship with your children after divorce

If you and your spouse are one of the many North Carolina couples who have decided to divorce, you may be concerned about how your decision will affect your relationship with your children. While your concern is a valid one, proactive measures to maintain a good relationship can prevent unnecessary strain. At Cody Law Firm, we have helped many individuals like you through the difficult process of divorce.

If you are looking for specific measures you can take to protect, strengthen and maintain the good relationships you have with your children, the Huffington Post has some excellent suggestions. These include the following:

It may be time to request a child support modification

If you are good about paying your child support in full and on time, the last thing you want is to break this habit in the future.

Unfortunately, there may come a time when you realize that you are unable to make your full child support payment. If this happens, you need to learn more about requesting a modification in your state.

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