Union County Attorney Vigorously Seeking Equitable Marital Property Division for You
Let an experienced divorce attorney deliver a satisfying property division solution
Divorce is a traumatic experience in many ways, not the least of which is attempting to fairly and equitably divide your shared property. Property division cases (called Equitable Distribution) are famously contentious and complicated, but Lundell Law Firm has the knowledge and standing to guide you through this turbulent time. We offer compassionate counsel and robust representation in divorce proceedings. Let us put our firm’s experience to work for you.
North Carolina Rules of Equitable Distribution
Under North Carolina’s divorce laws, marital property and debt are divided according to rules of “equitable distribution.” In brief, equitable distribution means that marital property and debt must be divided in a way that is fair. It is presumed property will be divided equally between the parties, but there is more to it than just 50/50. North Carolina law presumes that an equal division of marital property and debt is fair; however, judges have a large amount of discretion in deciding your case.
First your property must be grouped, or classified, into categories: “marital property” and “separate property.” These are legal terms defined by statute. Generally, marital property is property acquired during the marriage and before separation. There are a number of exceptions. Separate property is generally defined as property owned before marriage or inheritances or gifts received during marriage. Again, there are exceptions. Only marital property can be divided and distributed. Once the marital property is identified, it must be valued. Depending on the property being evaluated, it can be as simple as determining the value of stock by looking online or as complex as valuing a family business. Secondly, you must decide which of you will receive what asset. In addition, tax consequences must be considered: for example, a home with $100,000 in equity is not necessarily equal to a retirement account with pre-tax money valued at the same amount.
What happens if my spouse is withholding or hiding assets?
Your spouse has a legal obligation to divulge every asset that is subject to division. If it becomes clear that a spouse has attempted to withhold or hide assets, the judge charged with distributing the marital property may view this negatively and assign the entirety of the hidden assets to the other spouse. Additionally, as the division of marital property is entirely at the judge’s discretion, any attempt to hide or withhold assets that is found during the discovery phase of the trial may cause the judge to treat that spouse more harshly in terms of dividing assets.
Why is it vital to begin the equitable distribution process quickly?
It is crucial to begin the division of property process quickly, as you want to avoid a situation in which a spouse may liquidate or sell assets before they are available to be divided. Initiating the division of property proceedings quickly makes such evasion more difficult.
Speak with a divorce attorney today about your division of property questions
If you are considering separation or divorce, it is wise to seek early legal advise from experienced lawyers who can assist you in understanding the many issues surrounding the divorce process.
To make an appointment to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable attorney, contact the Monroe, NC, office of Lundell Law Firm. Call us today at (704) 288-4096, or request a consultation.