Understanding Equitable Distribution and The Mediation Process
The Law Office of Martha McKee helps clients with all aspects of their divorce, including equitable distribution of assets and debts. In many cases, this can be achieved through mediation. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Equitable Distribution and How Does It Work?
A major aspect of divorce is the division of assets and marital debts. 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.
Marital assets could include:
- Real estate such as the marital residence
- Automobiles, boats and other vehicles
- Property and home furnishings
- Retirement accounts, savings and pensions
- Most anything else obtained during the marriage that was not specifically designated as a separate asset
It is important to note that not all assets are created equal. Even when you convert illiquid assets into liquid ones, you must still consider tax implications, loss of compound interest, depreciation in value and other factors.
As your attorney, my job is to help you seek and obtain the assets that will be most valuable to you and/or your children going forward. I will also help you do a thorough review to ensure that your spouse is not attempting to hide assets.
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 before pursuing litigation. The method of ADR I 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 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, I am prepared to vigorously advocate for your interests in the courtroom.
Contact The Firm 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 me at 919-241-5254, or send me an email.