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Winston Salem Family Law Blog

Does everyone have a right to alimony upon divorce?

When you get a divorce, one of the things you might question is whether or not you have a right to alimony. You've been supportive of your spouse, paid for your fair share of items in the home and have worked, but you're still nowhere near as financially stable as your spouse. Thanks to helping him through school, supporting the purchase of your home and investing, you'll be worse off than he is when you get a divorce. What can you do?

Alimony might be a good solution in your case. While many people assume alimony payments are made monthly, it's also possible to get a one-time settlement from your spouse. For instance, if you paid $20,000 for him to complete his education, you might be able to seek that as an alimony payout.

Get child support by establishing paternity

Not only does a father have a moral obligation to help pay for the care of his children, but a father also has a legal obligation. Problems, nevertheless, can arise when trying to collect child support if the father claims that he is not the father.

In order to secure an order to receive child support in these cases, a mother may need to take legal action to establish paternity.

Retroactive child support: Determining the cost

You set up child support with your partner while you were still married. You expected him to pay on time each month, and the obligation seemed fair. You determined support based on an agreement you had between yourselves and put it in your separation agreement. It is sometimes possible to seek retroactive child support if your ex-spouse or partner has not paid what he or she owes. Retroactive child support may also be called prior maintenance by the courts. In your case, the separation agreement could trump your ability to seek retroactive support.

The court determines how much a past commitment was for the purposes of a retroactive payment by looking at how much support would have been required if the current guidelines had been applied at the beginning of the child support time period and by looking at what the fair share of the parent's expenditures are for his or her child's care.

Can false accusations of child abuse hurt my custody case?

If you've been falsely accused of child abuse, you may be insulted and are likely frantic to prove the other person wrong. What matters right now is doing everything in your power to protect yourself and your interests. Whether you're in a heated child custody dispute or are working as a teacher, these allegations could change your life, even if they're disproven.

As soon as you know you're being accused of abuse, you need to immediately stop being around children without other adults present. Taking proactive measures to prevent others from assuming that you could be doing wrong will help your reputation. Do your best to avoid talking about the allegations, since rumors still have a potential to damage your reputation long after the allegations have been disproven.

3 tips to get through the adoption waiting period

Adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make. By opening your home to a child who needs one, you are not only getting a new member of the family, but you could very well be saving a life as well. However, adoption does come with high levels of stress and anxiety, usually due to the lengthy process of filing the appropriate paperwork and sitting through interviews with Child Protective Services. Sometimes, potential adoptive parents can wait years before they finally meet the child that was meant for them.

At times, it might seem like the process is never going to end. Fortunately, there are some things you can do prepare for the adoption and help distract yourselves during the wait. For some tips for getting through the adoption process, read further.

Yes, there are reasons to be grateful for divorce

Although it seems counterintuitive, it's important to remember that there are some reasons to be thankful and even grateful for divorce. Divorce is stressful, but in the end, it can mean that you end up in a better, safer environment or one that is more appropriate for your child.

One good thing you can thank divorce for is finding out who your true support system includes. Whether it's family or friends, those who want to be there for you will be. You'll know who has your back in times of crisis.

Do these things and you'll risk losing child custody

When you go through divorce, one of your main concerns is maintaining custody of your child. Interestingly, there are some things you could do that put that goal at risk.

What kinds of things make a court believe you're a bad parent or that you shouldn't have primary custody? Here are a few factors that could hurt your rights as a parent.

Restraining orders have their place in family law

There are three kinds of protective orders in Virginia. Each type has its benefits, protecting those who need it most. Some people may also suffer as a result of an unfair restraining order, like someone who has had false allegations made against him or her. It's important for juries, judges and others to take these protective orders with a grain of salt while still offering them for those claiming they're in danger.

The first kind of protective order, which is probably what you think of when you think about protective orders, is an emergency order. This is issued almost immediately when requested and expires at the end of the third day or the next day the court is open, whichever is later. The idea is that the protective order is there for immediate help, but it isn't lasting. This gives the person accused a chance to go to court and defend his or her actions immediately.

What should you do to survive the holidays after divorce?

The holidays are almost here, and if you've recently gone through a divorce or are going through one now, you may not be sure how you're going to handle them. Fortunately, you're not alone. Many people go through this same stage every year, and you can survive it with grace and dignity.

The main thing to remember after a divorce is to be patient. There will probably be hard days where you miss your ex or are struggling to adjust to a single person's lifestyle. You might miss your friends or family on your ex's side, and it's okay to mourn those losses or to try to connect.

Divorcing and new schools: Helping your child survive day one

When you got a divorce, you knew that one way or another, your child was going to have to go to a new school. Neither you nor his other parent could afford to live in the same area alone, so you both would have to move either way. Both of you spoke and decided on a school district, but your child isn't so sure.

What can you do to help your child get used to the idea of a new school? There are several tips that can help make sure he or she has a good first day and year with new friends in a new community.

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