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May 07 2023
Can a claim to a portion of a military retirement be discharged in Bankruptcy Court?
If military retirement is property, and if property is dischargeable in bankruptcy court, then a claim to a portion of military retirement should be subject to discharge in bankruptcy court, right?  
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March 27 2023
Neglecting a client and their case is one of the main ways lawyers get in trouble.
It is common for us to put off things, especially with difficult clients who take an inordinate amounts of our time. 
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March 09 2023
A very well prepared mediation and a happy mediator.
One of the biggest barriers to resolution a mediator will confront is lawyers who are have not prepared their case for mediation.
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February 18 2023
Tips for preparing your family law case for mediation.
I have been a trial lawyer for over 30 years, however I am a relatively new mediator. I am finding that many attorneys are not fully prepared for mediation and seem to expect me to fill in the missing pieces and find a settlement for them.
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January 11 2023
Proper preparation for mediation is critical for family law lawyers.
Did you know a significant minority of lawyers fail to properly prepare, or prepare at all, for a domestic relations mediation?
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January 08 2023
Brief Summary of Planned Planned Parenthood v South Carolina, et al
In February 2021 Governor Henry McMaster signed a restrictive anti abortion law forbidding abortions once a "heartbeat" can be discerned in a fetus.
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December 20 2022
Calculating alimony in the Carolinas
For many of us, the North Carolina and South Carolina alimony statutes create more conflict than guidance. 
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December 15 2022
Is early mediation a good idea?
Sometimes an early mediation in a domestic relations matter is helpful to reach a quick and peaceful resolution, but not all cases are suited for it.
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November 15 2022
The importance of qualifying our entries on a financial affidavit
Properly notating and qualifying entries on a Financial Affidavit for use in Domestic Relations  Court can prevent a lot of subsequent problems.
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November 08 2022
What to consider when choosing a family law mediator
No two family law cases are alike and a "one type fits all" attitude regarding choosing a mediator may not lead to the best result.
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November 04 2022
Negotiating support issues in divorce
Often support negotiations are some of the most difficult negotiations in a domestic relations case.  While child support is a simple algebraic formula, alimony is an entirely different matter.
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November 03 2022
5 common mistakes made in divorce litigation
Family Law is a very complicated and nuanced area of law.  In fact, Family Law is so difficult that many of us will not engage in any other practice areas. After 31 years as an attorney, here are what I feel are some common errors lawyers make in a Family Law case.
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November 01 2022
How to lose $100,000 in your divorce.
In February of 2005 the Family Court in Wake County, NC approved a consent order awarding Husband just over $106,000 in retirement funds to be paid to him from his Wife's 401(k) by way of QDRO.  The requisite documents were never submitted to the trial court, and the ordered amounts were never transferred from Wife’s IRA and 401(k) accounts to Husband.
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October 24 2022
Helping the mediator help you
Some Family Law lawyers don't prepare for mediation in a way that gives them the best chance to settle their dispute.  Here are some suggestions that will improve the chances of reaching resolution.
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September 13 2022
How to separate assets and debts in divorce
North and South Carolina are both equitable distributions states when it comes to divorce. This broadly means that all property acquired during the marriage will be considered marital for purposes of equitable apportionment.
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September 08 2022
Common law marriage in SC
Why do we have a legal theory called "Common Law Marriage?"
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August 18 2022
Who is responsible for a divorce?
Science informs us that we are not separate from the reality we experience everyday.  We are born of this earth and entirely dependent upon the earth for our survival. 
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July 17 2022
Mediation often comes down to the little things.
Most people think mediation is a cooperative process where everyone sits around a table and calmly resolve all issues in the dispute rationally and with dignity.
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July 13 2022
3 Steps to prepare for a client meeting with Settlyd
I though it would be helpful to share how I am preparing for a Cooperative Family Law settlement conference this morning where the support issues are dominant:
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July 12 2022
My take on the Brittney Griner detention in Russia
I have heard in the media and among my liberal friends that Brittney was playing basketball in Russia because she could not earn enough income in the USA.
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July 08 2022
What will be required to prosecute a woman who is alleged to have gotten an illegal abortion?
Now that our society has regressed and outlawed adoration, how must the state prove an abortion case?
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June 20 2022
How to calculate alimony
For many of us, the North Carolina and South Carolina alimony statutes create more confusion than guidance.  These statutes places a high degree of discretion on the Court when making an award of alimony or spousal support. 
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June 14 2022
Help! I spent 15 hours in a Divorce Mediation and settled my case, but now my spouse tells me he is
Family Law mediations generally start at around 9 or 9:30 AM and go until there is an impasse or settlement.  I have been in mediations that have lasted between 12 and 15 hours. 
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June 09 2022
What goes on in a Family Law Mediation?
Mediation in domestic relations cases is an adversarial process that leverages settlements of complicated financial and child custody issue.  I say "leverage" because after a mediation both parties generally feel as if they had no option but to agree to a settlement that was not entirely to their liking.
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June 07 2022
What is required for a successful family law mediation?
Family law disputes are some of the most legally complicated and emotionally fraught cases in our judicial system.  These kind of cases are not for the faint of heart and, sooner or later, both parties, their lawyers and perhaps a related professional or two, will end up in a mediation process.
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June 05 2022
Does the South Carolina Constitution Protect a Woman's Right to an Abortion?
Roe v Wade was not an abortion decision, it was a decision that recognized that the United States Constitution provides an unenumerated right of privacy to United States citizens.  
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May 18 2022
Can a sperm donor claim parental rights if the recipient/donee and her spouse divorce?
This question was recently addressed by an unpublished NC Appellate Court opinion filed on May 17, 2022 in McLane v Goodwin-McLane and Peackock.  
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May 16 2022
Fixed Fees In Family Law Disputes
The growth of tort litigation that began during the middle of the last century caused the insurance companies consolidate their legal work with individual law firms to defend all claims. In response, law firms created a business model capable of handling the defense of a large volume of tort litigation. A critical financial component of this new, large insurance defense law firm was the billable hour fee arrangement.    
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April 19 2022
Dealing with a narcissist in divorce
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines narcissism as : Excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance.  Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
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April 07 2022
NC Family Court reversed after awarding Wife 80% of Husband's net monthly income.
On April 5 the North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed the trial court in Brady v Brady after finding an award representing 80% of Husband's net income was not reasonable.
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March 31 2022
Can the Family Court "break" a Trust if there are allegations that it is illusory?
Recently there was a claim made in the Charleston Family Court that an overseas Trust was fraudulent and being used to hide marital assets.
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March 10 2022
Can personal goodwill attach to proceeds from the sale of a business?
The South Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued a decision from a Beaufort divorce case finding that certain proceeds from the sale of a dental practice did not contain "personal goodwill" which would have passed to the exclusive benefit of Husband/Dentist.  Bostic v Bostic.  
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March 09 2022
3 Steps To Prepare For A Client Meeting With Settlyd
I though it would be helpful to share how I am preparing for a Cooperative Family Law settlement conference this morning where the support issues are dominant:
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March 07 2022
Why we love the practice of family law
We love family law because it constantly challenges us.  Family law is some of the most important and complicated work in which lawyers in the United States engage.
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March 01 2022
NC Court of Appeals clarifies requirements that create a binding oral stipulation in the Family Cour
Many times legal disputes (including domestic relations) are resolved on the proverbial "courthouse steps" without first reducing the agreement to writing.  While this is not a preferred method of settlement, it is sometimes the only way to get a case resolved.
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February 25 2022
Can the court appoint a third party to monitor and approve modifications to a parenting plan?
Sometimes a parent is behaves so badly, or has significant mental health and/or substance abuse issues, that at the time of trial they are unfit to have visitation with their children.  This puts the trial court in a very difficult situation.
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February 15 2022
North Carolina Protective Orders: What proof is required?
Today, February 15, 2022, Charlotte lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC received a favorable ruling by the North Carolina Court of Appeals in an appeal from the trial court's issuance of a domestic violence protective order in the matter of Walker-Snyder v Snyder.
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February 14 2022
How to find equity in the equitable distribution of a marital estate.
Equitable means "fair", not "equal", and finding fairness in property division in a divorce is often not as complicated as one may think.
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February 13 2022
Tai Chi and the art of family law
Many people, including many of my colleagues in the Bar, feel that "might makes right" and that brute force is necessary to prevail in a contested family law case.    
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February 02 2022
The SC "stepparent adoption" statute provides solutions for single parents.
Most people know that a stepparent can adopt their new spouses children when the facts permit. However the South Carolina adoption statute states that “......... any person may adopt a child to whom he is related by blood or marriage.”
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January 10 2022
Supreme Court rules adoptions turn on best interest of child, not the parents.
South Carolina Supreme Court discusses "Best Interest of Child" in overturning Court of Appeals adoption ruling.  
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December 21 2021
What constitutes "bad faith" in a North Carolina child support case?
The North Carolina Court of Appeals published the matter of Mendez v Mendez on December 21, 2021 wherein it found (among other issues) that Dad was not acting in bad faith when physical ailments and a plan to attend law school caused reduction in his income.  
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December 13 2021
Holiday's and blended families
The end of the year Holiday Season can be a frantic and discombobulating for the strongest family bonds.  Divorce, re-marriage, and step kids only adds to the fun!  Here are a few tips my clients have used to alleviate the holiday crazies when two families are in play.
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December 07 2021
NC Ct of Appeals Rules Mom's new Husband is bad news- gives custody to GPs
On December 7, 2021 the NC Ct of Appeals ruled that Mom's failure to protect her child from her new husband's harsh treatment was grounds to grant the paternal Grandparents request for custody.  
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December 03 2021
Can the "My Lawyer Told Me To Do It" defense prevail in Family Court?
The SC Court of Appeals in Campione v Best recently made a finding of contempt against a former husband for (among other things) failing make certain quarterly payments to his ex wife in violation of the terms of their divorce decree. 
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November 30 2021
Determining the appropriate amount of alimony for your family law case.
For many of us, the North Carolina and South Carolina alimony statutes create more confusion than guidance.  These statutes places a high degree of discretion on the Court when making an award of alimony or spousal support.  Without a clear, precise, and reasoned demand from one of the parties, a Court can err greatly and leave a family member in a state of financial distress.
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November 21 2021
How To Account For Special Equity In Divorce Litigation
"A special equity interest is created when one spouse’s direct or indirect contributions increased the value of the other spouse’s non-marital property."  
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November 18 2021
Student Loans Can Constitute Marital Debt as per NC Court of Appeals
North Carolina Court of Appeals recently cleared up a lingering issue in Family Law regarding responsibility for student loans in divorce matters.  Purvis v Purvis 2021-NCCOA-616. Filed 16 November 2021.
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November 16 2021
Can a same sex couple claim to be common law married in South Carolina?
Common law marriage was ended in South Carolina July 24, 2019.  This only applies prospectively.  In other words, all claims of common law marriage that existed prior to July 24, 2019 are still valid claims.
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November 05 2021
Family Law and Family Law lawyers
When people hire a divorce lawyer they are getting not only a strong advocate for their legal position but they should also be getting impartial legal advice regarding their stated goals.
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November 02 2021
Cooperative Family Law
Lawyers are well aware of the harm that litigation can do to families in a divorce or separation. This is one of the reasons lawyers brought us Mediation, Arbitration, Collaborative Law and other forms alternative dispute resolution.
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October 21 2021
Ethics and Family Law
Domestic relations attorneys will often say that they they are simply "zealously representing their client" as is required by our Rules of Professional Conduct. 
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September 07 2021
Fixed fee arrangements can help keep legal fees down for consumers of legal services.
The growth of tort litigation that began during the middle of the last century caused the insurance companies consolidate their legal work with individual law firms to defend all claims against. In response, law firms created a business model capable of handling the defense of a large volume of tort litigation.
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September 01 2021
The Request For Therapy Records In Divorce Litigation
Therapists and others in the mental health community are often unsure what to do when confronted with a request for a client's therapy records from a divorce lawyer. Here are a few practice pointers based on what I have learned over the years.
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August 26 2021
What constitutes "income" when making an alimony award?
Alimony is not an exact science in South Carolina. 13 separate factors must be separately analyzed and each one specifically addressed when making an alimony order. 
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August 22 2021
NC Court of Appeals cautions family law lawyers: Be precise in your drafting.
On August 17 the NC Court of Appeals overruled finding of contempt by the trial court in the matter of Walter v Walter due to the drafting of a summer visitation schedule.
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August 16 2021
Long Term Separation
Is it advisable for parties to separate and wait one year, or longer, before filing for divorce and a resolution of the property, support, and children's issues?
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August 09 2021
Does might make right in family court?
Many people feel that "might makes right" and that brute force is necessary to prevail in a contested family law case.    
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August 05 2021
Must married couples wait one year before beginning the divorce process?
Married couples must wait one year before an uncontested divorce, but can permanently resolve all issues between them much earlier than this.
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August 04 2021
Be careful when dividing retirement accounts
There are many different kinds of retirement accounts, and when people get divorced, there are just about as many different ways to divide them. Knowing the pitfalls can be beneficial for a fair resolution.
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July 15 2021
Child support extrapolations for shared parenting plans
Settlyd provides you with a method to calculate child support for shared parenting plans when combined income exceeds the Child Support Guidelines.
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July 11 2021
The Guardian ad Litem in a private family court case: A process unique to family law.
One of the most common questions family law attorneys get from new clients is what is this thing called a "guardian" and do they have to have one involved in their case?  
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July 02 2021
Fixed Fees and Limited Scope Engagement Agreements
The billable hour engagement process is outdated and too exspensive for consumers of legal services.
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June 29 2021
The Cost and Benefit of Alimony Payments
Is there a cost/benefit to Alimony since the tax rules changed in 2017?
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June 24 2021
Calculating overnights in unique parenting plans
Settlyd's overnight calculator has pre-set defaults which should be customized to the facts of your case.
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June 14 2021
Maintaining joint ownership of marital property after divorce.
If left to a Judge, no property acquired by the parties during they marriage will be maintained as joint property after the divorce.
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June 08 2021
How To Create Side by Side
Settlyd permits us to create side by side comparisons in both the Asset Division Worksheet and the Net Income Worksheet. Both worksheets have 2 columns; an "A" and a "B".
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May 10 2021
What does Alimony "cost"?
Is all money the same since alimony is non-taxable, non-deductable.  Well, not really, and Settlyd has a tool to help you figure this out.
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April 15 2021
Social Security After Divorce
Many people are confused about Social Security payments after a divorce. Below is a quick primer.
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April 06 2021
Calculating Disposable Net Income With Settlyd
Settlyd Precisely Determines Disposable Cash For Your Family Court Support Cases.
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March 22 2021
How To Create Side by Side "What If" Scenarios in Settlyd.
Settlyd permits us to create side by side settlement options in both the Asset Division Worksheet and the Net Income Worksheet. Both worksheets have 2 columns, and "A" and a "B".
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March 16 2021
What happens when mediation fails?
The clear policy of our courts is to encourage and facilitate out of court settlements of disputes. In fact, as you have heard me tell you many times, mediation settles 90%+ of all disputes. But disputes do sometimes become deadlocked; trials do happen and "winners" and "losers" are declared. 
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March 09 2021
Making Money With Settlyd
How Settlyd lawyers make money with Settlyd while simultaneously improving the quality of our work in 5 simple steps.
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February 24 2021
Net Disposable Income Analysis
Settlyd's Net Income Worksheet is designed to provide you with solutions for real world problems.
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February 16 2021
Client Portal Workaround
Sometimes we represent people with email security features that block the email from Settlyd providing the link to the Client Access Portal 
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February 10 2021
Request For Counseling Records
Therapists and others in the mental health community are often unsure what to do when confronted with a request for a client's therapy records. Here are a few practice pointers based on what I have learned over the years in this evolving area of law.
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February 08 2021
Settlyd's Asset Division Worksheet
Settlyd's Asset Division Worksheet is flexible, precise, and easy to understand- with just a little bit of guidance!
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January 25 2021
How to improve our presence in the virtual courtroom
As trial lawyers, our appearance is often just as important as the quality of our legal work- or at least that's what we tell ourselves!
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January 13 2021
Linking Documents to Settlyd's Asset Division Worksheet
Settlyd provides a way for you to link supporting documents to line items on the Asset Division Worksheet
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January 03 2021
Using the Settlyd Client Portal
Settlyd's Client Portal saves time, improves efficiency and will result in a better work product.  
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January 01 2021
2021 is gonna be great!
We are optimistic and very grateful!
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December 15 2020
Multiple Options for Child Support Worksheets
Settlyd was designed by highly experience Family Law lawyers who have been there just like you. That is why we created the Settlyd Child Support Calculator to create and save any number of child support scenarios that may be applicable to your facts
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November 24 2020
3rd Party Child Support Calculations
Settlyd provides options when our client's parenting plans do not fall neatly within the State Child Support Guidelines.
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November 19 2020
Working with Settlyd in Mediation
Settlyd is the perfect tool to help us resolve our family law cases in mediation.
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November 12 2020
Resolve your Alimony Issue with Settlyd
Settlyd's cutting edge net income calculator establishes the reasonable monthly financial need of a supported spouse.
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November 10 2020
Free Zoom Training
Free Settlyd Zoom Training  
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October 29 2020
Settlyd practice Tip: Assigning the mortgage separately from the value of the home
Sometimes it is helpful to create a separate line item for the mortgage balance.  
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October 21 2020
Making Money With Settlyd
How we make money with Settlyd while simultaneously improving the quality of our work in 5 simple steps.  
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October 08 2020
Keeping your financials clearly organized and in the cloud will give you an edge in these unsettled
Will courts be open soon, will my office be safe to work in, should I, or must I, shelter in place again, and will I have enough work to pay myself, much less my staff?  
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February 19 2017
Alimony Reform May Impact South Carolina Divorce and Family Law cases
The Alimony Reform bill, HB 3122, in the South Carolina General Assembly significantly revises current alimony code.  Everyone impacted by Divorce and Family Law in Charleston should follow it closely.
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January 31 2017
How Can A Family Law Attorney Resolve Unique Child Support Issues.
Often, calculating a South Carolina Child Support award is straightforward math. But when parenting arrangements do not fall squarely within the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines, a stronger tool is needed by a Divorce and Family Law Attorney.
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January 25 2017
Divorce, The Brain and the Family Law Attorney
Divorce is often a tragedy of great magnitude for all family members. It is important for those involved in family law cases to understand how stress and trauma affect the brain in order to improve their abilities to make sound decisions.
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January 18 2017
Whats the best way to figure alimony in a South Carolina Divorce case?
Alimony in South Carolina is one of the most contested issues in the family court system. The legal process and methodology for determining the amount and duration of alimony are critical to finding resolutions fair to all involved.
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January 11 2017
Avoiding problems with Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are valid and favored in South Carolina. Proper preparation will ensure that both people are treated fairly should a divorce arise in the future.
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January 04 2017
Four Keys To Dividing Marital Assets In Divorce
“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you’ll get what you need”.  As the song goes, so does the reality of marital asset division in family court.
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December 26 2016
Collaborative Practice and Family Law
Collaborative Law is a legal process designed to help people resolve disputes in a rational, non adversarial manner. Families benefit greatly when this process is applied to disputes surrounding separation and divorce.  
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December 22 2016
Dividing a 401k in a South Carolina Divorce case
In a South Carolina Divorce case all property acquired during the marriage is subject to equitable division.
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December 09 2016
How is Child Support In South Carolina Determined?
When parents of children no longer live together, South Carolina law mandates that both parents shall be financially responsible for raising their children.
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November 27 2016
Equitable Division of Property In South Carolina Divorce
The key to understanding equitable division in a South Carolina Divorce matter is the word “equitable".  
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April 13 2016
How to Be a Successful Divorce Attorney
In the world of law, being a divorce attorney is a highly competitive business. It is an aggressive job that requires the ability to attract many new clients.
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March 31 2016
The 5 Financial Drawbacks of Divorce
Because there are going to be financial drawbacks that come with every divorce, here are 5 pitfalls to look out for in order to gather the information to time your actions strategically.  
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March 24 2016
5 Online Marketing Safety Tips
With the dominance of online marketing in today’s technology revolution, it can be a strenuous obstacle for one to prevail over the competition. 
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March 16 2016
Five Most Common Drawbacks of Legal Accounting
Legal accounting is an extremely important, yet tremendously challenging, responsibility when it comes to running a law firm. 
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March 02 2016
Establishing Trust with a Client
When building a relationship with any client, it is essential to establish trust, whether personal or business, no matter what profession you are in.
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February 25 2016
Paying Attention to the Fine Print When Filling Out A South Carolina Financial Declaration
When filling out the SC Financial Declaration, many are intimidated after their first glance of the fine, long, and detailed print. However, with focus and a little guidance, an error-free document can easily be achieved.
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February 18 2016
Valuing a Professional Practice in Divorce
A divorce proceeding that involves a person who owns a small professional practice such as a dentist, doctor, lawyer, psychologist can often times challenge the value of his or her professional practice.
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February 10 2016
Information Disclosure in Divorce Cases
Because discovery is such a vital step in a divorce case, attorneys must try to obtain necessary information to prove or disprove allegations made in the pleadings.
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December 11 2015
Use of Forensic Accountants in Divorce Cases
When seeking a divorce, clients do not have to spend thousands of dollars on a forensic accountant, or CPA, to assist with the financial analysis of the marital estate. 
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December 11 2015
Dividing Debt in Divorce
When going through a divorce, many couples separating find themselves constantly disputing about assets and debt. So how can two people getting a divorce split both of their property equitably?
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December 11 2015
Q+A with Sean, a Developer of Settlyd
Sean, one of the creators behind Settlyd, sits down to answer some questions that we had about his career and the application. 
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December 11 2015
Supreme Court Adopts Major Change In Valuing “Good Will” in Family Law Litigation
On October 7, 2015, the South Carolina Supreme Court made a major change in the way businesses are valued and divided during Family Court Law litigation. 
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