Welcome to Splitsville | Navigating Divorce in a Modern World

Leigh Sellers

Veteran Divorce, Child Custody, & Family Law Attorney, Leigh Sellers, serves as your guide through the foreign world of Splitsville – an alien place with its own rules, its own expectations, and even its own language. You won't find it on Google Maps, and your GPS won't work here. So if you’re feeling lost, you’re in the right place. With decades of experience serving clients in North Carolina (Charlotte, Monroe, Waxhaw, Concord, Gastonia, Weddington, NC) and South Carolina (Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Indian Land, Lancaster, SC), Leigh Sellers is the attorney with the answers you seek. This podcast tackles some of the trickiest topics in the family law field, including separation, how to get a divorce, alimony, child custody, child support, adultery, division of property, and more. To find out more or to schedule a consultation, call (704) 412-9101 or e-mail info@touchstonefamilylaw.com. Welcome to Splitsville -- your off-ramp to getting on with your life. read less
Kids & FamilyKids & Family

Episodes

Dealing With Mortgage Debt and Refinancing After Divorce
Dec 11 2020
Dealing With Mortgage Debt and Refinancing After Divorce
Divorcing couples often find themselves at a loss when trying to determine how to handle what is often their largest asset, the family home. Who stays in the home? What does the person who is leaving the home do for a substitute home? How do you finance these decisions?On this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we have invited Senior Mortgage Consultant Rebecca Richardson to help answer some of those questions. With over 19 years of experience, Rebecca acts as a partner for divorcing couples as they navigate their options and develop strategies to move forward successfully with financing or refinancing a home. 3:06Rebecca examines relevant mortgage information and guidelines divorcing couples should understand. How do shared debts, child support, and alimony factor into financing and refinancing? Because a divorcing person may be facing home-buying alone for the first time it can feel like a daunting task. Rebecca understands that a significant part of her job is to provide her clients with a sense of safety and comfort throughout the process. 4:06She also reveals the answer to a frequently asked question, what to do if your name is associated with the debts of your partner. What debt are you legally on the hook for? For most debts, the first place to look is the agreements and contracts that formalized the debt relationship. 16:40For more information on Rebecca Richardson and her practice, visit rebeccarichardsonmortgage.com. You can also connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn and Facebook and @The.Mortgage.Mentor on Instagram and TikTok.The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
What is a Guardian Ad Litem? with Hollie Bennett
Oct 12 2020
What is a Guardian Ad Litem? with Hollie Bennett
A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a community volunteer appointed by the court to serve children by advocating for their best interests before the court. When appropriate, the court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem in a child custody action. If you’re currently involved in or about to enter a contested custody battle, divorce, or separation, this episode will help you understand the role of a GAL and what you can expect from the process. In this episode, Touchstone Family Law founder Leigh Sellers speaks with Hollie Bennett of Palmetto Guardian and Adoption Services about her work as a guardian ad litem. They examine what the position of a guardian ad litem entails and their various responsibilities related to child custody cases. In general, the guardian ad litem is assigned by the court when the judge feels that he can’t be fully informed about the case at hand. They are advocates for the children, conducting a fair, balanced, and impartial investigation by collecting information through interviews, home visits, and other means. 01:52 Hollie also debunks a few misconceptions about guardian ad litem. GAL are not tools to be used by either of the parties involved in divorce and do not represent one side or the other. 03:42 GAL are not there to care for the children, nor do they possess the same decision-making powers as the court. 18:12 While GAL are encouraged to make informed suggestions, the significant decisions lie with the judge and the parents. 19:40 Leigh and Hollie also discuss what types of information guardian ad litem collect and the various qualifications required. 8:15 Attending training sessions and developing connections within the community are other requirements for those interested in becoming a GAL. 29:04 Hollie also reveals the disadvantages of litigation and how this adversarial process has the potential to inflict additional immediate and long-term damage upon the children. As the guardian ad litem, it is incumbent upon them to encourage parents to work together to find alternative methods of resolving their disputes and explore options like collaborative mediation. For more information on guardian ad litem, adoption, and the collaborative process, you can visit www.palmettosocialwork.com. The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
Can I Get My Child Support Changed Due to COVID-19?
Jun 15 2020
Can I Get My Child Support Changed Due to COVID-19?
The world has been facing a public health crisis that has caused significant economic changes and uncertainty. In the first two quarters of the year, families that are both intact and separated are facing increasing financial problems and struggles. More so for the latter, if one parent is obligated by the court to pay child support. But, with the ongoing pandemic, are there laws in place that allow for modification of child support? Touchstone Family Law founder Leigh Sellers explores the process for applying to have child support recalculated and modified, with an emphasis on the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leigh discusses the five areas that impact the decision, including significant changes in income sources, cost, and availability of health insurance and childcare. 3:08 If you want the modification, you need to ask, so it is imperative that you speak with your attorney and ex-spouse as soon as possible. 7:33 Leigh also describes how the process for requesting changes will be different if you have a court order versus an agreement or contract with the other parent. In the latter case, the court will be focused more on a child’s needs rather than changes in circumstances, so modifying such agreements may be more challenging. 09:36 And because of COVID-19, courts not only have an increasing backlog of cases, they are not attending to non-emergency matters at this point. With that in mind, it may be beneficial to explore other options that can avoid a lengthy legal process. 11:21 Alternative dispute resolutions including mediation, arbitration, and a collaborative approach are becoming exponentially more popular in light of the pandemic to develop short and long-term solutions. 13:18 Ultimately, it’s important that you seek legal counsel if and when you feel it has become necessary to modify the terms of your child support order or agreement. As you consider your options, you can get prepared by gathering necessary documents, figures, and other required information for your case. 14:37 The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
How Do You Raise Kids With Your Ex?
Mar 16 2020
How Do You Raise Kids With Your Ex?
One of the more prominent narratives surrounding separation and divorce involves ex-spouses being at each other’s throats and constantly arguing with one another. Such a hostile environment not only affects the former couple but negatively impacts their children as well. While separation and divorce are difficult for everyone involved, a happy co-parenting ending with your ex is a very real possibility. Touchstone Family Law founder Leigh Sellers speaks with Freddie Sexton and Jen Olin about their personal journey through separation, divorce, and effectively co-parenting despite living separate lives. Freddie is a Dad, artist, cyclist, and entrepreneur. Jen is an energetic mother, daughter, and friend who has worked in the senior living industry for 16 years. Jen and Freddie emphasize the importance of having open and honest communication with your ex from the very beginning. Creating a safe space to air your concerns and other family-related matters is key to a successful co-parenting relationship. 02:42When it comes to making any decision in your life, always ask yourself how it’s going to affect the children and their welfare. 04:35 Set expectations and intentions from day one and do your best to organize your life to honor these expectations. 09:59Jen and Freddie also dive into the benefits of occasionally meeting face-to-face, as sometimes texts or emails simply won’t do. 16:18 Communicating with each other frequently is key, even if it may be difficult or uncomfortable at first. It’s also vital that you be supportive of your ex, especially when they’re struggling. Remember, they’re always going to be the parent of your children, so demonstrating more sympathy and understanding not only helps your ex, in the long run, it helps you and your children as well. 28:08Freddie and Jen share the difficulties and struggles they went through and how they were able to overcome those issues and move forward. 22:16 They each share tips that have helped them personally, including finding support groups and being mindful of their physical and mental health.Couples choose to divorce for any number of reasons, but, at the end of the day, it’s important that you demonstrate to your children that their parents will always love and care for them first, even after their marital relationship dissolves. 40:05The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at http://www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
How You're Screwing Up Your Divorce Case
Dec 2 2019
How You're Screwing Up Your Divorce Case
The outcome of divorce and custody cases isn’t just dependent on your attorney or the judge. Believe it or not, your attitude and decisions during the whole process are going to affect how it all works out in the end. You have a lot of control over your own success, 01:45 and the divorce attorney is there to guide you along the way in terms of the legal implications and ramifications of your situation. Leigh Sellers dives into five things that you can do to screw up your divorce case and have things end up against your favor. Lying to your attorney 02:38 and then denying it once you get caught – because your legal team will find out eventually – 04:37 are some of the actions that aren’t going to sit well during the proceedings. Additionally, being unresponsive and not participative is going to make it hard for your attorney to advocate for you in the hearings. So, you have to show up and take the initiative. Being a vindictive spouse or parent who does not care for the welfare of the child/children involved 10:41 and trying to manipulate the financial situation 15:08 is not going to help you give the outcome that you want in the proceedings. Trying to get around the law is only going to make things worse. The key to making the best out of an unfavorable situation, such as a divorce case, is to put your complete trust in the judicial system, your legal team, and the judge handling your case. That means being completely honest and upfront with any facts that your attorney needs and listening to their legal advice. Attorneys, in particular, are skilled enough to try and make a winning outcome for their clients, so you should trust that they know what they’re doing. The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at http://www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
Alcoholism and Child Custody with Chris Beck of Soberlink
Nov 18 2019
Alcoholism and Child Custody with Chris Beck of Soberlink
Child custody cases are often the toughest types of cases that go through family court. Far too often, those cases involve parents with alcohol and substance abuse issues. Some states, including North Carolina, allow for alcohol monitoring systems in child custody cases. In this episode, we talk with Chris Beck of Soberlink, a modern tool that helps parents struggling with alcohol abuse stay involved in their children's lives. By using three key technologies to identify, test, and communicate in real-time with all concerned parties, Soberlink. allows parents to prove their sobriety and provides accountability. 5:23 The accuracy and reliability of the Soberlink device meets and exceeds medical and legal standards. 9:00 Chris explores the costs associated with using Soberlink and the extensive training process afforded to clients. 21:09 In cases of substance abuse, accuracy matters. So, Soberlink has designed its devices for real-world errors and false-positive tests from ingesting commonplace food and personal care products. 24:57 While Soberlink developed its product and guidelines in concert with the needs of the legal community, not all Soberlink clients are under court order to do so. Chris reveals the experience for clients using the company’s device to earn back trust or provide voluntary accountability. 29:09 To find out more about Soberlink and how it can help in family law cases and provide accountability, go to their website soberlink.com. The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
What is a Custody Evaluation? with Dr. Sean Knuth
Nov 4 2019
What is a Custody Evaluation? with Dr. Sean Knuth
Child custody cases are often the toughest types of cases in family court. Frequently, lawyers must call upon experts outside the legal field for assistance. In this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore what a custody evaluation is, who is involved, and how it can affect your child custody case. Today’s conversation is with Sean Knuth, a licensed psychologist in North Carolina who specializes in forensic psychology. Sean works with the Mecklenburg County Forensic Evaluation Unit as the Director of Training and runs a therapy practice dealing with child custody and litigation related cases. First, Sean talks to listeners about the role of psychologists in both voluntary and court-ordered evaluations. 2:27 Sean then discusses the most commonly used evaluations in child custody cases and the differences between them. 10:19 When a custody evaluation is done, many parties can be involved. Sean then identifies the different parties involved and their respective roles in the evaluation process. 15:26 Because courts can order evaluations on many different issues, Sean discusses the types of issues typically addressed in court-ordered evaluations. 18:40 Sean then examines the role of attorneys in the evaluation process and how unrepresented parties participate in the process. 27:14 Next, Sean explores the nuts and bolts of a typical evaluation for litigants. 31:12 Finally, Sean advises unrepresented parties on how best to produce the relevant information to ensure they are fully heard during the evaluation process. 36:30 Sean wraps up the episode by addressing court costs associated with a child custody evaluation. 40:19 For more information about Sean’s practice or to connect with him, visit his website at sbkphd.com. The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFFC) provides helpful resources for both litigants and professionals. Visit their resource center for helpful guides on evaluations in family court. The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
What is a Divorce Coach? With Sandra Lee of Emerge Victorious
Oct 21 2019
What is a Divorce Coach? With Sandra Lee of Emerge Victorious
On this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore what a divorce coach does and explore how utilizing a coach can help you navigate your divorce. Today's conversation is with Sandra Lee, a divorce coach in Charlotte, NC, with more than 20 years of experience. First, we hear Sandra explore the differences between divorce coaching and therapy. 4:15 Then she discusses the role of a divorce coach in the divorce process. 9:02 Because divorce can be an intensely emotional process for everyone involved, Sandra shares several intimate and relatable stories of coaching couples through the emotional turbulence of divorce. 14:18 Sandra then talks about the benefits of a divorce coach in collaborative cases to guide the divorce process. 20:00 Sandra examines the role of a divorce coach in identifying the needs and desires of the parties and works to ensure minor concerns do not derail the process. 27:07 Sandra then addresses the financial rationale for using a divorce coach, and how a coach can often save money over the life of the case. 31:43 Sandra wraps up this episode discussing how a divorce coach can provide clients with a thinking partner during the divorce process and help them maintain strong, healthy relationships with family and friends. 35:13 For more information on Sandra Lee and her divorce coach practice, Emerge Victorious, you can visit her website at www.EmergeVictorious.com or email her at Sandra@EmergeVictorious.com. Sandra is also a member of the Charlotte Collaborative Divorce Group, and more information on the group can be found on their website www.charlottecollaborativedivorce.org. The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
Do I Need a Prenup ?
Aug 19 2019
Do I Need a Prenup ?
You did the proposal, the ring, and the "yes!"  Now, you're attacking your wedding planning To-Dos. The modern wedding planning to-do list frequently includes some variation of "discuss getting a prenup." On this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore the question of whether you need a prenuptial agreement or "prenup." Today's conversation is with Mollie Ellis, an associate at Touchstone Family Law and the newest newlywed in the office. Mollie starts off the podcast discussing how prenups can create less stress in the future and even away from the tension that could create a divorce in the first place. (3:57) Mollie then talks about why a prenup might be a good idea for a 30 something who's embarking on their first marriage, even with little wealth. (7:02) Mollie and Leigh discuss when a person is considering a prenup, what the most important things to have. (13:47) Mollie also talks about some topics that a prenup can protect and some situations that a prenup cannot protect against. (16:13) Mollie and Leigh then wrap up the podcast talking about some unique provisions that they have seen in prenups. (21:44) If you are interested in talking about prenups, contact a local attorney. If you live in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
How Do You Pick a Therapist?
Aug 5 2019
How Do You Pick a Therapist?
Often a breakup is too stressful for a person to handle on their own. Divorce attorneys are often asked for recommendations on finding a good therapist. On this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore how to pick a therapist and the therapist's role in helping you through a divorce. Today's conversation is with Dr. Sean Knuth, a licensed psychologist in North Carolina who specializes in forensic psychology. Sean works with the Mecklenburg County Forensic Evaluation Unit as the Director of Training and runs a therapy practice dealing with child custody and litigation-related cases. Sean starts the podcast by discussing how a person might go about selecting a therapist without any knowledge of the profession. 2:07 Sean then discusses the role of referrals and the affect health insurance has on picking a good therapist. 3:32 Just like with other professions, credentials matter. Sean talks about how credentials, experience, and how a person gets along matter when picking a therapist. 7:04 Sean discusses the differences between a therapist who works with only children, only adults, or someone who works with all ages. 9:50 Sean then talks about how a person can know when or if they are making progress with a therapist, especially when a child is involved. 12:06 Just like when a person is seeing a lawyer, talks with a therapist are often confidential. Sean discusses when a therapist's sessions are and are not confidential. 21:59 Sean wraps up the conversation by talking about oversight for therapists in North Carolina compared to unlicensed therapists. 28:15 If you would like more information about Sean’s practice or would like to reach out to him, you can visit his website at www.sbkphd.com. If you have questions about a finding therapist or their role in divorce, consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
What Happens to My Fur Babies in a Divorce?
Jul 22 2019
What Happens to My Fur Babies in a Divorce?
There are many things to consider during a divorce. How will the assets be split? Where do the kids spend the holidays? Who gets the record collection? One question we are starting to hear with regularity is, "who gets custody of the family pets after a divorce?" On this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore what happens to pets when a marriage (or any relationship) ends. Today’s conversation is with Jovanna Mastro, an associate attorney at Touchtone Family Law. Jovanna is a double Gamecock, earning her undergraduate and law degree from the University of South Carolina. As a devoted mother of a fur baby, Jovanna offers a compassionate heart and creative solutions to help clients with pets navigate the divorce process. As important as your "fur babies" are to you, the court takes a much colder approach, viewing pets as little more than another piece of property. (3:02) For pets purchased prior to the marriage, Jovanna discusses the factors a court uses to determine ownership. (4:24) Of course, pets acquired during the marriage. (7:00) While courts must step in on occasion, most couples are able to settle pet custody on their own and avoid dragging the dogs (figuratively) into court. Jovanna discusses the necessity of a well-crafted custody agreement and breaks down important factors to consider. (9:08) Jovanna wraps up the episode by discussing how often pets are displaced by divorce, and frequently require fostering or re-homing. (15:40) If you have questions about what might happen to your pet in a divorce, consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com or call 704.936.0062. The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
Does Your Diagnosis Matter in Your Child Custody Case?
Jul 8 2019
Does Your Diagnosis Matter in Your Child Custody Case?
Child custody cases are tough on everyone. When one parent has a mental health diagnosis things can get very complicated. On this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore how a parent’s mental health diagnosis may affect a child custody case. Today’s conversation is with Sean Knuth, a licensed psychologist in North Carolina who specializes in forensic psychology. Sean works with the Mecklenburg County Forensic Evaluation Unit as the Director of Training and operates a practice dealing with high-conflict child custody cases. Sean opens the podcast by discussing the danger of relying solely on a mental health diagnosis in determining a person’s ability to effectively parent their child. 2:44 Sean then explains his process for determining how a mental health diagnosis may affect parenting ability. 3:16 Sean discusses working with parents who raise concerns over the effectiveness of the other parent as a result of a mental health issue. 11:55 Sean then talks about the difficulty of predicting how a court will view a diagnosis and the necessity of analyzing each case individually. 15:44 Sean wraps up the podcast by highlighting the importance of asking, "how well does the person parent?" rather than "what is the parent's diagnosis?" 19:19 For more information about Sean’s practice or to contact him, visit his website at www.sbkphd.com. If you have questions about a custody case, consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
The Role of a Child Therapist in Divorce Court
Jun 24 2019
The Role of a Child Therapist in Divorce Court
Custody cases are very complex and can include many experts who often are called upon to testify in court. On this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore the role of a child therapist in divorce court. Today’s conversation is with Maria Curran, of The Center for Creativity and Healing. Maria is a therapist with over 25 years of experience working with children and families in the area of separation, divorce, or blended family issues. Maria also works with more mainstream issues like anxiety and depression issues, but her specialization in the separation divorce area makes her practice unique in the area. Maria starts the podcast by discussing the ways a child therapist typically gets involved in divorce court. (1:50) Maria then explains how therapy mandated by the court differs from conventional therapy. (5:50) Because parents often want their children to testify, Maria shares her thoughts on children testifying in custody cases. (15:30) Maria discusses working in collaborative cases where she may end up in the legal process even if it's not in the courtroom. (23:00). Maria then talks about how a court case dragging on for years can affect the parent’s relationship with their child. (27:46) Maria wraps up this episode by talking about parents repeating cycles and how that affects children (32:47) If you would like more information about The Center For Creativity And Healing or want to reach out to Maria specifically, you can call her office at 704-523-5567 or visit their website at www.thecenterforcreativityandhealing.com. If you have questions about using a child therapist in court consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
How Do You Fill Out a Financial Declaration in an Alimony Case?
Jun 10 2019
How Do You Fill Out a Financial Declaration in an Alimony Case?
Divorce can be an overwhelming process for many especially with all the numbers and forms required. On this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore an area that can be one of the most daunting parts of a divorce for many: how do you fill out a financial declaration in an alimony case? Today we’re back with Beth Gregg, Wealth Manager, CDFA, Financial and Divorce Planner, and Managing Partner at Fairview Strategic Partners. If you're a party to a divorce where you or your spouse is seeking alimony you will be asked to fill out a financial declaration. If you may be a party to a divorce with alimony being a contested issue, today's conversation is for you. Beth starts our conversation with some tips for how to best get the documents you need to fill out a financial declaration form. (3:39) Beth then talks about the consequences of leaving off income and how that, even if it is an honest mistake, can create creditability concerns and a very contentious environment which may make it harder to settle. (08:23) On expenses, Beth recommends creating a more specific budget worksheet with detailed categories that will make going line by line easier. You can then collapse the more specific categories into the categories provided on the financial declaration and keep notes or add extra pages to provide explanations. (10:54) Beth also discusses how to look at the financial declaration as a forward-looking document to forecast your expenses post-divorce. Things like the need to pay for an additional health insurance policy or child care because one party is now going back to work post-divorce belong on the financial declaration even though they are not a current expense. (16:52) Beth also discusses common hidden expenses that many parties might leave off their financial declaration and what documents will be needed to get an accurate reflection of those expenses (20:35) Finally, Beth talks about how individual data helps parties when filling out a financial declaration and how people can get that detailed data to help defend their numbers. (23:14) You can connect with Beth Gregg at FairviewStrategicPartners.com and 704.247.9494. Beth Gregg, Wealth Manager, CDFA, Financial and Divorce Planner, and Managing Partner at Fairview Strategic Partners, and with LPL Financial. Securities are offered through LPL Financial, member of FINRA, SIPC. If you have questions about how do you fill out a financial declaration in an alimony case, consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
How to Protect Yourself From Invasion of Privacy During Divorce
May 27 2019
How to Protect Yourself From Invasion of Privacy During Divorce
You might be shocked to find out getting a divorce is not the most private matter. On this episode of Splitsville, we explore the area of computer forensics and talk about how you can protect yourself from invasions of privacy in the world of divorce. Today’s conversation is with Clark Walton. He is an attorney with a background in computer science and forensics. Clark and his firm advise clients on how best to preserve things like text messages or internet history, and the firm also does investigative work to retrieve data. If you are going through a divorce with digital evidence or may be thinking some digital evidence might be out there that might affect your relationship, this conversation is for you. Welcome to Splitsville. Clark starts our conversation by telling our listeners who are his typical clients and what his firm does for most clients (2:22) Several laws limit what Clark and his firm can do. Clark explains what he can do legally and what is off limits. (9:05) Clark then talks about the ways data can be leaked for those using Apple products and his advice to secure those devices so a divorcing spouse or anyone else cannot access that data. (13:19) Clark talks about the steps that he goes through to collect data and investigate someone else’s device properly. (27:57) With today’s apps and operating systems, deleting something permanently can be very hard. Clark talks about how likely it is to recover deleted data. (35:58) Clark also discusses what types of technology listeners need to be most concerned about protecting. (38:32) Clark discusses spoofing and how fitness trackers, in-car GPS devices, and IP cameras can hold information. (44:10) Clark wraps up this episode talking about the increased vulnerability of Android devices versus Apple products. (55:29) For more information on Clark Walton visit his website at relianceforensics.com or give Clark a call at 980-335-0710. If you have questions about digital forensics and divorce, consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com Links Mentioned in this Episode: Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (09:56) Stored Communications Act (10:20)  TeenSafe (13:01)Cellebrite (29:48)Ccleaner (43:00) Epic Privacy Browser (47:11) The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
How a Child Therapist Can Help Families Going Through a Divorce
May 13 2019
How a Child Therapist Can Help Families Going Through a Divorce
Divorce and adjusting to the new family dynamic of living in two separate households can be overwhelming for anyone, especially children. On this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore how a child therapist can help families going through a divorce. Today’s conversation is with Maria Curran from The Center for Creativity and Healing. Maria is a therapist with over 25 years of experience working with children and families in the areas of separation, divorce, and blended family issues. Maria also works with more mainstream matters, including anxiety and depression issues, but her specialization in separation/divorce makes her practice unique in the area. Maria begins by answering the question that many divorcing parents ask: How do I know if I need to take my children to therapy? 3:44 Maria goes through her process for evaluating how children are coping with the changes in their life brought on by a divorce. Maria then discusses the parent’s role in the process and how her office deals with determining necessary parental consent. 8:04 Maria shares her ethical obligations to both parents during treatment, including her duty of confidentiality to the child. 16:44 Maria then talks about common challenges she sees children experiencing when their parents are going through a divorce or separation. 23:14 Maria goes on to share the hardships children often take on during a divorce or separation in an attempt to be protective of their parents. 30:22 Maria outlines the specific types of therapists and mental health professionals that work with children and families as well as methods for identifying the best therapist for their particular situation. 34:31 Finally, Maria discusses her process of assisting families with very young children. 39:18 For more information about The Center for Creativity and Healing or to contact Maria, go to www.thecenterforcreativityandhealing.com or call 704-523-5567. If you have questions about using other professionals in the divorce process and you are in North or South Carolina, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
How do you use a Financial Advisor in a Collaborative Divorce?
Apr 29 2019
How do you use a Financial Advisor in a Collaborative Divorce?
Divorce does not have to be an exclusively adversarial process. Today, collaborative divorce is becoming more mainstream and in this episode of Welcome to Splitsville, we explore the benefits of using a financial advisor in a collaborative divorce. Today we're back with Beth Gregg, Wealth Manager, CDFA, Financial and Divorce Planner, and Managing Partner at Fairview Strategic Partners. If you are a couple who have decided to take the mostly non-adversarial road through Splitsville, our conversation on the benefits of using a financial neutral in the collaborative divorce process is for you. In a collaborative divorce, the role of a financial neutral is to work with couples in an impartial way to produce financial documents that can be used by attorneys to craft good Separation Agreements. 2:25 Working with the couple and both attorneys through a free flow of information among all parties, financial neutrals gain a clear picture of the couples financial life prior to divorce allowing the parties to use that information advocate what they will need in the future post-divorce. 8:37 Beth discusses how she supports couples in making smarter decisions on how to split assets and how to best prepare for a financial crisis should one arise during the divorce or post-divorce. 17:17 Beth also explains how the process for a financial neutral differs for collaborative cases versus contested cases and how having a financial neutral look over the final agreement as can happen in collaborative cases is a real benefit to both parties in many cases. 20:58 Finally, Beth outlines a number of things a financial neutral is not allowed to do after they've helped a couple through a collaborative case. 26:00 You can connect with Beth Gregg at FairviewStrategicPartners.com and 704.247.9494. Beth Gregg, Wealth Manager, CDFA, Financial and Divorce Planner, and Managing Partner at Fairview Strategic Partners, and with LPL Financial. Securities are offered through LPL Financial, member of FINRA, SIPC. If you have questions about the collaborative divorce process consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com or call 704-936-0062. The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
How Can I Get Out of an Abusive Relationship?
Apr 15 2019
How Can I Get Out of an Abusive Relationship?
There are several areas of family law that are darker than most, and one is the topic of this episode, domestic violence. If you are in one a relationship that is abusive and thinking of reaching out or know someone who is struggling to get out of an abusive relationship, today's conversation with Jamie Sellers from Safe Alliance on how to get out of an abusive relationship will be of great interest. Safe Alliance is a fantastic nonprofit founded in 1909 in the Charlotte area that helps people who have been subject to domestic abuse and intimate partner violence restart their life by providing them resources needed to escape their abuser and get the help they need. Safe Alliance provides an eighty-bed shelter for men, women, and children in imminent danger of domestic violence. They have two full-time staff attorneys, and about 90 pro bono attorneys provide legal assistance to those seeking a Domestic Violence Protection Orders. Safe Alliance also provides victim assistance in domestic violence courtrooms in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. They also have a sexual trauma resource center, where counselors are on site, and provide advocacy for sexual assault victims. The most recent initiative launched by Safe Alliance is the Greater Charlotte Hope Line. That is a hotline, where people can reach out to experts trained to address domestic violence, sexual assault, and parenting. Domestic violence is not just physical abuse or sexual assault. It also includes emotional and or psychological manipulation that form a pattern of behaviors, that evolve, to exert power and control over a partner. Domestic violence can take the form of physical, emotional, or financial isolation. Warning signs, such as quick over-involvement in your life, jealousy, or attempts to isolate a person for friends or family are often present but presented to as concern or love early in the relationship. If the police are called to a domestic dispute, it’s important to get as much information to the officer as possible. It is good to remember that a domestic violence call is one of the most dangerous types of calls for a police officer to respond to, so it’s important to remember it is a high-stress situation for all involved.  If you are thinking about or planning to get out of an abusive relationship, Jamie offers some tips that can help. First, realizing that every situation is unique and that planning is always important. Some general tips that can apply in most situations are one, gathering copies of important documents is essential so once a person leaves they do not need to go back for anything. Next, packing a small go bag with clothes and essentials and taking notice of an abusers schedule allows a person to take an opportunity to leave. Finally, if a person is planning to leave and gets involved in a confrontation with their abuser stay away from rooms with weapons or where there is no escape.  It’s important to remember that abuse is a learned behavior. Children pick up on what happing from a very young age and can over time come to see abuse as normal increasing the risk they will become abusers or victims of abuse themselves. The younger a child can be removed from a domestic violence situation the better chance they have at not becoming involved in an abusive situation themselves.  Domestic violence that includes strangulation or choking is a particular type of abuse that has been shown to increase the risk of death more than 800% that other types of violent acts.  If you would like to speak to someone at Safe Alliance you can call the Greater Hope Line of Charlotte hotline is 980-771-4673. If you would like to learn more about Safe Alliance visit their website online at www.safealliance.org. The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes...
Can I Move with the Children?
Apr 1 2019
Can I Move with the Children?
Are you divorced or separated with children and considering a move, either just for yourself or with a new partner? The elevatable question pops up, can move with my children, to another city or another state, away from the other parent? If that sounds like you or you are interested in finding out more about this complicated child custody issue and how North or South Carolina deal with it, you have come to the right place. Welcome to Splitsville. One way a move can occur is with the consent or approval of the other parent (3:42). With consent, the moving parent must remember the most important thing to the other parent is likely access to the child. What needs to be considered here is how the moving parent might make it easy for the other parent to remain a constant figure in the child’s life while living out of town.  If the situation comes down to a fight in court, regardless of if a custody order needs to be modified or if one is currently being considered, the Court will always consider what is in the best interest of the child…not the parent (6:33). That means the moving parent has the burden of showing the court how the child or the children are explicitly going to benefit from a move. There is a presumption that having both parents close by will be the best situation for the child. This presumption can be strengthened or weakened by the level of involvement of the parent seeking to block a move. The Court will also look at the moving parent’s motive for the move, and the other parents motive to challenge the move. The distance of the move will also factor in a Court’s decision because great distance may make parenting time more difficult and travel expenses too great. Modern technology has changed this issue some with the ability to communicate and be present virtually more accessible to more families; it can make a move a bit easier. Also, the age of the child is a consideration, the more activities children are in the community or sporting events, the more difficult a move. If a court finds that a move is not in the child’s best interest, a parent may still move but without the children (11:48). This could mean a change in the custodial parent may need to occur.  This is a very tough issue. If you have questions about moving with children after or during a divorce, consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com
Am I Legally Married?
Mar 19 2019
Am I Legally Married?
Are you questioning if you are legally married, or you may know you are legally married but a problem has occurred and now you want to see if you can get out of it without going through all the hoops of a divorce? If that sounds like you or you are interested in finding out more about what it takes to be legally married, be common law married, or get an annulment in  North or South Carolina, you have come to the right place. Welcome to Splitsville. This episode of “Welcome to Splitsville” starts with a conversation about annulments -- getting a marriage declared void by the court (2:45). Reasons a marriage could be void always relate to a condition that existed at the time of the marriage. These include a prior marriage still existed, a party lacked consent, an improper officiant was used, a false representation of pregnancy was made, or sexual impotence existed. Lee also notes that while an annulment may not be faster and does not negate any child support obligations, it takes away the right to alimony and property distribution that a divorce includes. Another issue with whether a marriage is legal is common-law marriage (18:42). While North Carolina does not recognize common-law marriage, South Carolina does recognize it. In South Carolina, the marriage doesn't have a license, and there was no official ceremony, but you have an informal, but a mutually understood agreement by both parties to be married and have publicly represented yourself as being married.  If you have questions about if you are legally married or maybe you are seeking an annulment, consult a local family law attorney. If you are in North or South Carolina, you can contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com and 704-936-0062. The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com