Understanding Equitable Distribution
At the Law Office of Martha McKee, our lawyers help clients with all aspects of their divorce, including equitable distribution of assets and debts.
What Is Equitable Distribution And How Does It Work?
A major aspect of divorce is the division of assets and debts. Who is entitled to what and how the division of the assets and debts should be executed are the primary contentions in dividing the marital estate. There are a variety of statutes that dictate how the division must legally unfold, but having an experienced attorney like Martha handle these calculations and divisions will benefit you immeasurably. These are not simple matters and are subject to numerous legal considerations to properly justify. As a simple guide, the following chart shows typical considerations in an estate.
Marital assets could include:
- Real estate such as the marital residence
- Automobiles, boats and other vehicles
- Personal property items like separate belongings and home furnishings
- Retirement accounts and pensions, checking and savings accounts, trusts, etc.
It is important to note that not all assets are created equal. Even when you convert non-liquid assets into liquid ones, you must still consider tax implications, loss of compound interest, depreciation in value and other factors.
Debts could include:
- Mortgages, HELOCs, and auto loans
- Credit card balances
In North Carolina, laws require that marital assets be divided equitably (or fairly), but that does not always mean perfectly in half. Many issues arise when dividing property — ones that we are familiar with and can help you resolve. It is our chief aim to advocate for your best interest every step of the way, working to secure your goals for equitable distribution with as little impact to you as possible.
Our attorneys can help you seek and obtain the assets that will be most valuable to you and/or your children going forward. They will also help you do a thorough review to ensure that your spouse is not attempting to hide assets, and Attorney McKee is very experienced with handling these divisive issues.
Starting With Mediation
If you do not have a Separation Agreement in place governing equitable distribution, North Carolina law requires you to engage in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) before pursuing litigation. The method of ADR we find most effective is mediation, wherein you and your spouse sit down (in separate rooms) with a neutral third-party mediator and attempt to reach an agreement on the division of assets and debts. Mediation is most effective when you attend with lawyers knowledgeable about your assets and debts.
Mediation works a majority of the time, and many couples are glad to have the details ironed out quickly. In cases where mediation is not successful or possible, however, attorney McKee is prepared to vigorously advocate for your interests in the courtroom.
Contact Our Experienced Team To Learn More
Based in Durham, the Law Office of Martha McKee serves clients throughout the Triangle area. To arrange your initial consultation with a highly experienced attorney, call us at 919-479-5588, or send us an email.