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Woodruff Family Law Group
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...About Divorce

I’m getting divorced. How can I protect my retirement?

Carolyn’s Answer: 

     For those of you with state and governmental retirement plans, you have important issues in your divorce case to be addressed. You will also find additional information on other parts of our website about this. But basically, if you’re a teacher, a fireman, a police officer, or any of our other dedicated public workers, you have a retirement plan that you’re working very, very hard for and it is important that that retirement plan is given every consideration possible in your divorce. The key case that determines how your retirement plan will be valued is the Bishop case, and it’s important that we understand the nuances of the Bishop Case. We’ll discuss that with you here, at Woodruff Family Law Group. For this or any other family law matter, please contact us here, at Woodruff Family Law Group. 
– Carolyn Woodruff is a Family Law Specialist, North Carolina CPA, and Certified Business Valuator

Is it OK to date during a separation, or do I have to wait until I’m divorced?

Carolyn’s Answer:  

     Dating can be an important part of your divorce recovery. When is it okay to date after you’re separated? Well, technically in North Carolina it is ok to date as soon as you’re not living in the same household with your ex-spouse.  But, it may or may not be a good idea.  There are some considerations you will want to make.  First, do you have children? Particularly minor children.  Are you going to introduce a new relationship too soon?  That can affect your relationship with your children and your custody claim.  Another factor to consider is did you know this person before the separation? Is somebody going to be suspicious that it was going on prior to the separation if the dating relationship begins too soon? That could affect your alimony trial, and might not be a good idea.  Let us, at Woodruff Family Law Group, help you with your divorce recovery by discussing when it is a good idea to begin dating. For this or any other family law matters, please contact us at Woodruff Family Law Group.
– Carolyn Woodruff is a Family Law Specialist, North Carolina CPA, and Certified Business Valuator

What is the legal definition of "Separation" in North Carolina?

Taylor’s Answer: 

     Clients frequently want to know: what does it mean to be separated in North Carolina? Simply stated, if you are not living under the same roof as your spouse, and one of you has the intent to be separated, you are separated under North Carolina Law and you can apply for a divorce in 365 days.  A legal document is not required to be separated under North Carolina Law.  If you have any question about this topic or any other family law topic, please contact us here at Woodruff Family Law Group.
–Taylor Clay is an attorney at Woodruff Family Law Group

Divorce & Aviation

At Woodruff Family Law Group, we see many individuals who have obtained valuable & unusual assets such as classic cars, airplanes, or memorabilia. The conversation below is an example of how those can be factored into a divorce.

Aviation is important to the Triad, and it’s also important to us here at Woodruff Family Law Group. I’m Carolyn Woodruff, I’m a North Carolina Family Law Specialist, but I’m also a pilot
I’m Steve Coggin, a North Carolina Certified Paralegal, I’ve been an aircraft owner and pilot for over 33 years; I’m a multi-engine instrument rated pilot. 
So if an aviator is going through a divorce, what are some of the important issues, Steve? 
I think the important issues are making sure that you keep your insurance up to date.
Your life insurance? 
Absolutely. Don’t ever cancel that without discussing that with your attorney first.
What other kinds of issues do pilots or pilot families particularly encounter in divorces? 
Well, I think the use of the airplane, and how certain expenses are allocated to the marital estate versus the business. I also think keeping up with the maintenance is a big issue and preserving the value of the aircraft so the value can be accounted for properly in the division of the marital estate.
So how would you value a plane in a divorce situation? 
Obviously, there are several ways to do it online and there are a lot of local professionals, but the key thing is to keep up with what the engine and the prop logs show and the updated avionics which can be the most important and expensive part of an airplane
So, would it not be important to know what the log books say about where the airplane actually went? 
I think where the airplane actually went and where it was supposed to go can always be two different things; occasionally what the log book says and where the airplane actually landed are two different things.
We thank you here at Woodruff Family Law Group. If you’re interested in aviation and you’re going through a divorce, we’re here to help you. For this or any other family law matter, please contact us here at Woodruff Family Law Group.

– Carolyn Woodruff is a Family Law Specialist, North Carolina CPA, and Certified Business Valuator
--Steve Coggin is a North Carolina Certified Paralegal