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North Carolina Divorce Lawyers Discuss Cohabitation, Remarriage and Shared Assets

/// 01/24/2011


In a nation where the rate of divorce hovers at 50 percent and instances of remarriage and cohabitation grow at a slow but steady rate, questions on  post-divorce finances  in cohabitating relationships  as well as second or third marriages frequently arise. Whether it is a question of benefits received from a divorced spouse or the transfer and combination of assets with a new spouse or partner, money may be a central reason for delaying remarriage or avoiding it all together. The North Carolina divorce lawyers of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt understand the confusion behind mixing finances and second spouse or in cohabitation relationships, and offer some advice for managing old and new relationships. Based on the Smart Money article, The Case Against Remarriage, published Monday, November 22, 2010, financial issues such as losing benefits tied to an ex-spouse and merging assets for a second time cause concern for those venturing into a long-term, committed relationship. The family attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt offer both explanations and advice on the ramifications of cohabitation after divorce and remarriage.

Questions to Consider:

Do You Depend On Your Former Spouse For Income?

If you receive alimony, remarriage will terminate the arrangement and you will no longer receive stipends from your ex. This question is important if you rely on this money as a source of income. The article, The Case Against Remarriage, also points out that some states, including North Carolina, will terminate alimony arrangements if the receiving spouse is cohabitating as defined in the applicable statutes or case law. It is important to look into your state’s laws and consult an attorney if you have concerns over this issue.

Do You Have A College-Bound Child?

Federal student financial aid is based upon the income of the custodial parents. The calculations that are used to determine the amount of funding the student will receive often include the income of that parent’s spouse as well. If a remarriage results in a higher combined income, the amount of federal funding for your child’s college tuition will likely be lessened.

Do You Have Specific Plans For Your Estate?

While a will may specify where you want your property, possessions and investments to go, it is not necessarily enough to ensure your wishes will be granted, according to the article. Generally assets pass to survivors in a particular order: first to a joint owner, such as the co-owner on a house; secondly to a contractual heir, such as the beneficiary on your life insurance policy, and lastly, the beneficiary on the will. While you may intend for your entire estate to be left to your children, if you venture into the world of shared assets that typically accompany marriage, this may not occur. If this is something you are concerned with, contacting a family attorney skilled in matters of prenuptial and post nuptial contracts is highly advisable as is contacting an estates attorney who can help you prepare a will that accomplishes your intentions in the event of your death. The terms of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement should be consistent with terms of your will so there is no mistaking your testamentary intent.

While money is not always the most pleasant topic when a relationship begins to show potential to last, it is an important asset that affects both you and your partner’s well-being. If children are in the picture, what happens to your assets affects them as well. Make sure your needs will be met before committing to a cohabitation situation or remarriage. The Raleigh, North Carolina attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt can help you navigate the turbulent waters of joint finances resulting fromdivorce and remarriage or a decision to enter a cohabitation relationship. The attorneys at Gailor, Wallis and Hunt are noted for their ability to deal with complex financial issues in separation and divorce including alimony, tax issues, the distribution of property and preservation of assets. They are equally noted for the caring service they provide to their clients as well.

Divorce, remarriage and cohabitation are both emotional transitions and complex business transactions. Let the North Carolina attorneys of Gailor, Wallis & Hunt who are highly  experienced in family law help you work your way through it.

To contact the North Carolina divorce lawyers of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt, call them at 866-362-7586 or go to their website at


Gailor, Wallis & Hunt, PLLC

Divorce is Tough – So Are We


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