Nationwide, the divorce rate has leveled off and even decreased slightly in recent years. But three North Carolina Cities are bucking that trend.
A recent survey of the top 25 areas with the most divorced couples included Raleigh (no. 10), Charlotte (no. 9), and Greensboro (no. 4). In these three cities, the number of divorced couples increased an average of 225 percent from 1970 to 2010. The results are surprising because the divorce rate is typically lower in the South.
In addition to Greensboro, the top five cities were Virginia Beach, Vir. (386 percent increase), Buffalo, N.Y. (280 percent), Plano, Tex. (262 percent), and Corpus Christi, Tex. (240 percent).
Child custody and property division are typically the two largest issues in a divorce. Child custody decisions must be in the best interests of the children, while the property division must be equitable. There is generally broad agreement on these questions, but this agreement breaks down on specific matters. For example, all good parents want what is best for their children, but most parents disagree as to what is “best” in a given situation.
In terms of child custody, the law does not offer a list of factors to be used in making these decisions. However, there are a few suggestions, including:
- Verified allegations of domestic violence;
- Overall safe or unsafe environment; and
- The child’s current living arrangement.
This third concept may be the most important one, because most family law judges value consistency.
Property division works a bit differently, as there are several identifiable factors that a judge can use in making a ruling.
- Relative income, age, health, and status of the spouses;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Liquidity of the property;
- Economic and non-economic contributions to the marriage;
- Custody of minor children; and
- Tax consequences.
Evidence regarding fault in the breakup of the marriage (adultery) is not relevant for property division purposes, but is admissible regarding an alimony award.
Around 90 percent of divorce cases settle without going to trial. Sometimes the parties resolve the issues through informal negotiations, while other times, there is a formal mediation session. This procedure takes place before a neutral third party who facilities a settlement between the two spouses.
There are some other similar procedures. In complex property division cases, accountants and other non-party expert witnesses often help determine the property division.
Experienced Family Law Attorneys
Although each case is different, there are common approaches in each divorce matter. For a confidential consultation with hard-working divorce attorneys in Charlotte, contact Remington & Dixon, PLLC today.