Puzzle pieces with dollar signs - Lusby Law P.A.The Division Of Property, Assets, And Debts In A North Carolina Divorce

The process of dividing property, assets, and debt in North Carolina begins with the presumption that a 50-50 division is fair. In North Carolina law, there are only 12 statutory reasons listed for an unequal division. The court will consider these factors when determining the division, but it will not revisit or re-litigate decisions made during the marriage. For example, if one spouse solely paid the mortgage throughout the entirety of the marriage, the court is likely to maintain the position that this was the decision the couple made while married and thus needs to live with the consequences of it. The court does not engage in micromanaging every choice made during the marriage. It would be impractical if it did, as every minor decision made during the marriage would become a matter for trial.

Instead, the court operates on the assumption that decisions made during the marriage were made jointly, even if this was not necessarily the case. The focus is primarily on decisions made after the marriage. However, some degree of fairness comes into play when it comes to distributing property. For instance, if one party had significant separate property or wealth before the marriage that is not subject to division (marital property is typically considered income or property acquired during the marriage, from the date of marriage to the date of separation), it might be deemed fair to balance things out by awarding a little more to the party with less. There is a fairness calculation involved in this process, but, for the most part, the court starts with the assumption of a 50-50 equal distribution.

Common Issues In Dividing Assets And Debts

It would be impractical if it did, as every minor decision made during the marriage would become a matter for trial. Often, there are hidden assets that one spouse may not be aware of, so it’s crucial to identify all the property that falls within the court’s purview and distinguish whether it’s marital or separate property.

The second major issue is evaluating the value of these assets. For instance, if one spouse purchased a large Sony TV for $3,000 three years ago, it’s clear that the TV is not worth the same amount now due to depreciation. Factors like fluctuations in the housing market can also complicate determining the property’s value at the date of separation.

Strategies To Preserve Your Pension Or Retirement

On the topic of employing strategies to safeguard things like pensions or retirement accounts, things can get a bit murky. One effective strategy is to consider sacrificing other assets that are not tied up in your 401(k) or pension to shield them from being affected. This approach is advantageous because the income generated by your pension and 401(k) remains separate property, and preserving these funds is financially sensible when considering your long-term well-being.

For instance, if you have a house, you may choose to give up a larger portion of it to safeguard your pension. This decision makes financial sense as your pension continues to grow over time, whereas the value of the house may not appreciate as significantly. Ultimately, the key lies in assessing the entirety of your assets and determining how to redistribute them effectively to safeguard your pension and 401(k).

Protecting Your Business During Divorce

If you are a business owner, you can take steps to protect your business during a divorce. The most crucial advice I can give you is to not attempt to deceive your partner or the court. Additionally, do not make any major business moves while the divorce is ongoing. Selling all your assets to your business partner or trying to conceal assets, for example, can lead to unfavorable consequences in court and may backfire dramatically.

The best approach is to continue operating your business as usual without making significant financial decisions or large moves during the divorce process, as these actions can have long-lasting repercussions. I highly recommend getting a business evaluation done. This involves enlisting the expertise of a qualified professional who can accurately determine the true value of your business. This process ensures that the business’s worth is definitively and objectively established while silencing claims the other party can make in an attempt to undermine your case. Subjective claims along the lines of I know they made $1.5 million last year, and there is $500,000 in the business’ bank account, so I should get $1 million. won’t have any oxygen to feed off of. Business evaluations are comprehensive and consider various factors, providing a complete assessment of the business’s value.

For more information on The Division Of Assets & Debts In An NC Divorce, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (252) 371-0127 today.

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