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Litigation of Equitable Distribution, Spousal and Child Support

Equitable Distribution of Assets and Debts

Donna along with competent professionals, will analyze marital assets and debt, no matter how complex, and help you create a plan designed to protect your financial future. Once all the assets and debts involved in your case are identified, she will discuss with you how they should be divided. For example:

  • Pensions: The rules are complicated, but it is not necessary to liquidate pensions to divide them. Donna can help you divide retirement assets to avoid adverse tax consequences.
  • Division of Debt: From car payments and mortgages to credit cards, Donna can help you formulate a plan, divided fairly with your spouse, to pay off debt accumulated during the marriage.
  • Marital Home: Financial aspects such as the amount of equity in your home and the potential need for one spouse and/or the children to remain in the home is analyzed.
  • Businesses: After a financial analysis, Donna and the experts she has relationships with can help you determine a businesses' value and how to divide it between you and your spouse. Donna also has long-standing relationships with business evaluators, certified public accountants and other experts who can assist when needed.
  • Insurance: Specific federal laws apply to medical insurance, including your rights under the Affordable Care Act. If life insurance is an issue, Donna can advise you about obtaining or continuing that coverage. Again, she has relationships with experts who can help you.
  • College Savings: When money has been saved for your children's college education, Donna helps you make sure that money remains for your children.
  • Taxes: Many issues in family law cases are tax driven. With knowledge and access to other licensed, skilled professionals, Donna knows how to properly consider all aspects of your case with tax issues given due consideration.

Spousal Support

Donna can help you determine how much money you will need to maintain your current lifestyle, or what, if any, support you must pay. If one spouse is dependent on the other to meet his or her living expenses, after-tax income is analyzed and a budget developed. Unlike child support, there are no set rules governing how much spousal support will be paid or how long it will last. Factors that can impact the amount and duration of spousal support include:

  • The length of time the parties were married
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • Whether either party engaged in "marital misconduct"
  • Each party's income and expenses, considering tax consequences
  • Each party's earning capacity (education levels, work history, etc.)

Donna can assess either party's potential claim for spousal support and how long it should last. She conducts a thorough financial analysis, considers all tax ramifications, then advises you based on your unique circumstances so to reach a fair resolution. When necessary, she can help you modify or enforce support orders as well.

Child Support

Child support is based on a formula dictated by North Carolina law. Usually a straightforward process, child support becomes complicated when one parent is self-employed, under-employed or a high-income earner. Donna will review your situation to determine your rights and options. She will help you calculate child support, and deal with ancillary financial issues such as medical insurance, child care, summer camps and extracurricular activities. As circumstances change, she will help you modify or enforce child support agreements or orders. Donna is knowledgeable about interstate child support agreements and orders and will assist you with any complications that arise when it is necessary to enforce them.

Interstate Support and Custody Issues

Donna can explain the quagmire of interstate law if you have an agreement or court order from another state. She understands how to enforce or modify that agreement or court order. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act controls interstate issues relating to custody and visitation. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act controls interstate issues relating to spousal support and child support. Though complicated, Donna has handled many interstate issues and can provide advice on how best to ferret through them.

"Donna was recommended to me by the faculty at the UNC School of Law. She proved a superb choice. My wife and I were going through a collaborative divorce process and her experience with both this process and litigation proved relevant, since she was able to provide an expert assessment of how particular issues might play out if we went to court. Professional and thorough, I felt throughout that my interests were well protected in what was an emotional and trying process. If you want a lawyer at the top of her game, you should definitely consider hiring Donna Bennick."

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