Charlotte Property Division Lawyer
Protecting Your Rights & Assets in a North Carolina Divorce
Splitting up the marital property in a divorce can be difficult and upsetting. Aside from matters like the family home and other assets, who will get to keep the family dog? What happens to items like family heirlooms, photograph albums, or other sentimental objects? What happens in high net worth divorces when the finances can be complex, involving all types of property, complicated transactions, real estate, stock portfolios, other valuable investments, and unknown tax consequences?
Divorce is never easy but decisions have to be made concerning all the material goods, property, and debts that were acquired during a marriage. This issue can often lead to disputes and bitter adversity between the two parties, requiring the intervention of legal guidance, negotiation, or litigation. Whatever your situation may be regarding your marital property division, your case will receive attentive and focused legal care at Rech Law, P.C. We deal with divorce issues every day as our primary field of practice, which means we bring countless hours of casework, a thorough knowledge of the law, and honed legal skills to every client.
Request a consultation to discuss your case by calling (704) 659-0007 or by submitting our online form. Call now and speak with a knowledgeable Charlotte property division attorney.
How North Carolina Marital Property Is Divided
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement between yourselves or through negotiation, the court will make the decision for you as to how your marital property will be divided. Marital property includes only that property accrued jointly during the marriage. Separate property, such as an inheritance or gift to one of the parties or property that was acquired prior to the marriage or after the separation, may not be considered.
North Carolina follows the rule of “equitable distribution” when considering the issue of marital property division. Courts are not bound by a 50/50 split between the parties although that is common. Rather, the court will divide property in a manner considered to be fair and just. In some cases, an even split is not justifiable because of numerous factors.
The factors that the court will consider when deciding the division of property include:
- The ages of the parties;
- The parties’ health conditions;
- The length of the marriage;
- The parties’ incomes and assets;
- What each party contributed to the marital property;
- Whether a spouse unfairly squandered any of the property; and
- Tax consequences.
What Happens to My Debts?
Like assets, liabilities acquired during a marriage are typically considered marital assets. That can include debt acquired by one person under their name only. As a result, many spouses often find themselves being unexpectedly saddled with liabilities such as credit card debt acquired by their partner during the property division process.
Being forced to take ownership of liabilities one party isn't responsible for is just another reason so many attorneys advocate for marital agreements, which can ensure that spouses define what qualifies as separate and community property during a divorce.
As a rule of thumb, budget for a worst-case outcome, even if you're confident that you'll obtain a favorable judgment from the court. It's better to budget on the assumption you'll be on the hook for some liabilities than to avoid it and end up going into debt to cover debts.
What About Hidden Assets?
During property division cases, each party must fully disclose all separate and community property they possess to each other and the court.
Parties have a fiduciary duty to each other during divorces, meaning that neither party can sell, tamper with, destroy, or otherwise impact marital property without their partner's and the court's knowledge and consent.
However, individuals sometimes try and hide assets from their spouses in an attempt to acquire a more agreeable result from the court.
For example, your spouse could:
- Intentionally omit separate property they own from reports to you and the court;
- Have an asset valuation professional intentionally undervalue assets;
- Attempt to liquidate funds in exchange for artwork or other material assets they intend to hide from the court and then sell post-divorce to recoup their losses;
- Channel revenue from a business through an employee or friend to make it appear as though they earn less than they really do;
- Take out "loans" from a friend they don't intend to pay back to make it appear they're in dire financial straights;
- And more.
If you believe your spouse is trying to hide assets from you, speak with your attorney. They can help you utilize professionals such as a forensic accountant to track down hidden assets, report them to the court, and obtain the judgment you deserve in your property division dispute.
Comprehensive Legal Representation
At Rech Law, we care about the welfare and future of our clients. We know how disruptive divorce can be for all involved and how difficult it can be to resolve emotional issues. Our Charlotte property division attorneys bring compassion as well as strong legal services to help you transition through this difficult chapter of life.
Let us fight for your best interests by calling (704) 659-0007 today.
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