Dan Lewis | Charlotte, N.C. Family Law Attorney
In recent years, there has been a growing trend of fathers staying home to care for their children while mothers work outside the home, as referenced in this recent article. The points below explore the potential impact divorce can have on the rights of stay-at-home dads.
- Equitable Distribution – In North Carolina, there are many factors that a judge may consider when dividing marital assets and debts; however, there is a presumption that an equitable distribution is an equal distribution. Therefore, fathers who stay home to care for their children do not “lose” any rights when splitting up the house, cars, and accounts. Even if an account, like a 401(k) retirement plan, is in your spouse’s name, it is presumed that each party is entitled to one-half of the accounts’ value as long as it contains marital assets.
- Alimony – Also known as spousal support, alimony was traditionally sought by wives and mothers upon separation from their husbands who worked outside the home. However, today, either party may request, and be awarded, alimony. In North Carolina, if one spouse was dependent on support by the other during the marriage, the dependent spouse may be entitled to alimony.
- Child Custody – To determine where children live (physical custody), how decisions should be made and by whom (legal custody), North Carolina evaluates the best interests of the children. There is no bias for or against the parent who cares for the children or the parent who works outside the home to provide for the family. However, parenting history and how responsibilities were shared during the marriage may impact a custody determination, along with other factors.
If you are a stay-at-home parent, or have questions regarding the above and your specific situation, contact Hatcher Law Group today to schedule a consultation. Dan Lewis is a family law attorney and certified North Carolina Family Financial Mediator. He represents clients in cases involving child custody, child support, equitable distribution, alimony, and domestic violence. He also serves as both a private mediator and court-appointed mediator.