Things to Consider Following Your Divorce

If you are in the process of a divorce, you are likely to take a substantial amount of time regarding finalizing your child custody and child support arrangements. However, after a divorce is finalized, many parents fail to consider how the change in marital status may also change circumstances over time with respect to children in many ways. The following are some considerations regarding child custody and inheritance issues following your divorce.

Child Custody Modifications

You may believe that your current child custody arrangements work well for your situation. However, it is important to note that your situation may change in the future, or your ex-spouse’s situation may change in the future. If this occurs, you have the legal right in the state of North Carolina under specific circumstances to request a modification to your child custody arrangement or child support calculations. The state of North Carolina will allow a parent to change their child custody arrangements under the following circumstances:

  • Changes in the location of a parent
  • Changes in the academic, physical, or social needs of the child
  • Change in the physical or emotional stability of one parent
  • Incarceration of a parent

Depending on the nature of the circumstances, and why the parent is requesting a modification, there may be changes to several types of child custody. The types of child custody include physical custody, legal custody, joint custody, and sole custody. Any of these types of child custody can be modified at a later time following the divorce upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. Visiting with an experienced attorney can help you understand if you have the right to request a child custody modification, which may also include a child support modification as well.

Estate Planning Changes

If you recently went through a divorce, you should consider updating your estate planning documents. Your ex-spouse may be listed on several estate planning documents such as a living trust or last will and testament. Some of the changes you may want to consider making regarding your estate plan include the following:

  • Execute Documents Correctly. Make sure to execute all your estate planning documents correctly, and in writing.
  • Beneficiaries. Look at all your estate planning documents to see who is listed as your beneficiary, trustee, executor, or personal representative. If your ex-spouse is listed, you may want to consider revisiting these documents and changing the selected parties.
  • Disability. Some estate planning documents deal not with just death, but incapacity or disability. If you become disabled, you will want to have the person making medical decisions on your behalf to possibly not be your ex-spouse.
  • Children. If you have minor children, you may have a trust set up for them. Make sure that the trustee of that estate planning document is a person that you will want to make discretionary decisions on behalf of your children.
  • Taxes. Taxes are always challenging and complicated when it comes to estate planning. Make sure that after your divorce, your estate planning documents reflect the assets you actually own and do not include any assets or property that may have been divided and given to your ex-spouse.
  • Titling of Assets. It is very common for spouses to title many of their assets or property as joint ownership with rights of survivorship. Following a divorce, look through all of your property to see if any of it is still titled jointly with your ex-spouse.
  • Retirement Plans and Benefit Plans. You may have documents regarding pension plans, retirement plans or other benefit plans such as profit-sharing plans that list your ex-spouse as the beneficiary if you pass away. Make sure to make the proper changes to reflect your wishes so that these assets do not pass to your ex-spouse.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney

You may be overwhelmed either before a divorce or during the divorce process to ensure that your child support, child custody, financial arrangements, division of property, and other matters are taken into account. However, weeks or months following your divorce, you may have additional legal needs related to family law. If you are considering what your family law needs are following a divorce, or are considering a modification to your child support or child custody order that was established in your divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704.370.2828 or online today for your initial consultation. We can help you before, during and after the divorce process to ensure all of your legal needs are taken care of and your legal rights are protected.