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Divorce mediation may be your key to a smoother marital breakup

You and your spouse are ready to dissolve your marriage. However, the part you are not ready for is the fight you expect to ensue as soon as one of you files the divorce papers. However, the truth is that not every divorce has to involve a bitter fight between soon-to-be exes.

Thanks to divorce mediation, you no longer have to follow the conventional path of divorce litigation to work out your divorce's terms in North Carolina. Here is a look at what mediation involves and why it might be right for you and your future ex-spouse.

Is underage drinking ever allowed in North Carolina?

The legal age to purchase and possess alcohol is 21 across the United States. However, each state has its own restrictions when it comes to underage drinking. For instance, some states permit minors to drink alcohol in a private residence, in the presence of their parents. Other states ban all types of underage alcohol consumption outright.

North Carolina is on the more stringent end of the spectrum regarding this area of the law, though it has made some specific exceptions. Today we examine three circumstances under which a minor may drink alcohol in the Tar Heel state:

Tip the scales in favor of amicable post-divorce parenting

Although part of you likely wants to move on in life and leave all the nasty divorce issues behind you, you also realize that as parents, you and your former spouse must continue to interact because you have children together. It's likely you never thought you would be standing before a judge to determine where your children would spend their holidays. However, things happen, and life changes, sometimes in very unexpected ways.

Your ultimate goal now is to learn how to relate to your former spouse in a peaceful fashion that keeps your children's best interests in mind. The last thing you want is to return to court over and over again every time a parenting disagreement arises. You also do not want your children to think you and their other parent care more about fighting each other than you do about them. There are several things you can to help keep post-divorce parenting stress levels to a minimum.

North Carolina has new rules for clearing your record

Everyone makes mistakes. Your history, your record and your past are important aspects of who you are and what you have become. Having a criminal record is nothing to feel ashamed of, but if you want to get your record expunged, a law change near the end of last year may help you do it.

Your sentence may be determined by bad math

When you're accused of a crime you want to know how long your sentence could be, and that's your bottom line. In that moment you don't have time to consider how sentence lengths are determined, but maybe you should. New research is finding that one of the major tools that judges use in determining sentence length may have major flaws.

Preparing for the road ahead by taking financial steps in divorce

If you and your spouse decide to take separate paths moving forward, you may have concerns about the impact the end of a marriage may have on your future. You might wish to prepare for what comes next by gaining an understanding of what to expect, but the process can be exceedingly complex.

One aspect that could be of concern to you is the potential monetary ramifications of dissolving a marriage. The process of property division will inherently impact your financial standings, but there may be certain measures you can take to reduce the difficulty of transitioning into life on your own.

Making sure your Happy Thanksgiving is actually happy

When you told your children you were getting divorced, you knew it was a given there would be many changes on the horizon. Perhaps, you decided to keep living in the same North Carolina home you shared with your spouse in marriage as a way to lessen your children's stress and maintain structure and routine in their lives.

You may also be determined to keep some of your favorite family traditions while recognizing that, by virtue of the fact your former spouse will no longer be present day-to-day, some aspects of your holiday customs would be different. Hopefully, the two of you were able to amicably devise a new parenting plan. With Thanksgiving and more holidays just around the corner, it might be a good idea to review your court orders.

Say I do -- to the uncontested divorce

Are you ready to end your marriage? Do you dread the thought of fighting things out in court? Most people do. Well, there is good news for you. North Carolina residents who want a quick divorce without all the drama have a way to get it done. It is through the process called the uncontested divorce.

From a traditional standpoint, divorce takes time. It requires a lot of negotiations, a lot of back and forth between spouses and, in some cases, fighting things out in front of a judge. There are those, though, who go into the divorce process knowing exactly what they want to get out of it, and their spouse has already agreed -- or simply is no longer in the picture. The uncontested divorce is for those couples.

The serious penalties for drunk driving in North Carolina

Drunk driving is a serious crime, but the penalties associated with DWI in North Carolina can have a significant impact on your life. Even if it is your first DWI and it is a misdemeanor, you would be wise to take these charges seriously and seek a beneficial outcome to your case. A conviction is never your only option.

In order to more effectively fight back against the charges you are currently facing, it can be useful to fully understand the nature of the charges and the potential penalties they can bring. There is much at stake, and you may want to begin to build a defense plan as soon as possible after an arrest.

Understanding the unique concerns of divorcing while young

The end of a marriage is often a stressful and challenging period, and the decision could require a great deal of deliberation. While some may believe that divorce is more complex when regarding individuals who are together for years, it can be just as difficult for young couples.

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The Law Office of L. Bryan Smith, P.C.
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