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Winston Salem Family Law Blog

Foster children moving into family homes faster in Sampson County

Although the state of North Carolina has seen a massive increase in the number of children in foster care, one county has been able to lower its numbers. Sampson County has fewer than 90 children in foster care despite the growing number of children in foster care around the state.

What's different in Sampson? It's believed that a push to build awareness at foster care fairs and taking time to advertise has helped. Additionally, the county officials have been working with the courts to keep more families together.

Pets: Assets or family? You can fight for your pet during divorce

During a divorce one asset that might become the center of conflict is your pet. A pet, as much as people don't like to consider them so, are assets in the eyes of the court. That means that if you and your spouse can't agree on what happens to your pet, it will be divided as if it's property. A pet is not treated like a child, which means it's not typical for a court to think about the animal's custody as if it's a living thing.

That might seem unfair, but it's the current way the law works. How can you make sure your pet ends up in your arms? It might be best to work it out with your spouse or to make a strong case for your pet during settlement negotiations.

Cohabitation versus marriage: The facts

Your partner has long sought a marriage, but you've been against it. You know that living together is all you need to feel like a couple, but your partner argues that the legal benefits outweigh the freedom of staying separate on paper.

Deciding to get married is a very personal decision. If you've been living with your partner for an extended amount of time, you may think that cohabitation is the same as marriage. Maybe you think that the only difference is a piece of paper binding you to your partner by law. That's not really true. Cohabitating isn't the same as living together as a married couple in the eyes of the law.

3 tips to achieve balance after a divorce is final

After a divorce, you may find it's hard to balance your work and life. Instead of having two people in your family to do the cleaning, cooking, working and other tasks, there's only you after a divorce. This can be hard to adjust to at first, but there are ways that you can do so and get back on track.

Whether you have children, need to take care of pets or are adjusting to living alone, these tips can help. Keep them in mind, so you can start your new life fresh and ready.

North Carolina struggles with foster care and adoption issues

If you've hoped to adopt, now may be the time to look into it. North Carolina has more children in foster care today than it has had in the last 10 years. This is a significant problem and one the state needs to address as soon as possible. One of the state's largest adoption agencies has decided to make changes to reduce the number of children waiting in foster care in hopes of bringing the ever-growing number of waiting children down.

A news report from July 7 states that there are over 11,000 children in foster care across the state. The increase in the number of children in foster care is a direct result of having fewer families looking to adopt than there are children. Children are actually pouring into the system much faster than potential adoptive families are available.

How can you avoid stress during the upcoming holidays?

Although it's summer now, it will soon be time for your kids to head back to school. Shortly after, the holidays start one-by-one. First, it's Halloween. Then, it's Thanksgiving. Christmas and New Year's Day aren't far behind.

As a parent with joint custody of your children, this can be stressful to think about, but starting to plan what's going to happen now is a good way to approach the upcoming months. By making a plan early, you can avoid some of the pitfalls that could happen if you don't make plans at all.

Parental kidnapping can be prevented and responded to by parents

Parental kidnapping is something some parents worry about extensively following a divorce. If your ex has threatened kidnapping or refuses to return your children following a visit, then you may be a victim of parental kidnapping.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated 653 cases of parental abductions domestically between 2000 and 2007, according to a 2009 data set. That report showed that most of the children were returned home, which is good news for those worried about their own children going missing. The bad news is that not all children make it back to the custodial parent. Even if they're safe with the noncustodial parent, the abduction is a violation of the court order.

How can you reduce custody conflicts in the summer?

Summer vacation is here, which is great for families who share custody of their children. Summer means children have more free time, and in most cases, their schedules are easier to manage. Summer can also mean having additional custody conflicts, though, which is why it's important to set up a summer vacation visitation schedule as soon as you can.

You should set up a vacation schedule that identifies when your children will be off school and where they should be each day of the week. Account for things such as road trips or vacations if you already know the dates. Create a schedule that is in writing, so you can turn to it for any questions regarding your child's schedule in the summer.

How to design visitation around a baby

As new parents know, the needs of a baby trump all else. For parents who are getting a divorce or who have already divorced, working out custody and visitation when a child is a baby can become difficult. You have to consider when the baby needs to be fed, when it sleeps and design a schedule that is as routine as possible.

It's usually in parents' best interests to design a visitation and custody schedule together instead of allowing the court to determine one. This gives you the chance to get to know your child's needs and to make a routine that fits them. Here are a couple things you should think about while designing your plan.

What should you ask yourself before you get a divorce?

Before you get a divorce, there are a few things you should ask yourself. Just like when you were getting married, answering some questions before jumping into a new situation can be of assistance.

First, before you ever get a divorce, you should ask yourself if you've really taken the time to talk things through with your spouse. Divorce is usually permanent and does often cost thousands of dollars. There is research that shows that only 30 to 35 percent of what you say is really heard by your partner, so it's important to make sure that he or she really understands and hears what you want to change about your relationship.

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