Divorce can put tremendous psychological and emotional stress on the entire family. Likewise, financial stress is not uncommon. Therefore, being organized before you file for separation or divorce can decrease some of that stress.
- Gather your financial records and information in one place.
- North Carolina law requires you live apart for 12 months before filing for divorce. Consequently, you should find a place to live during the separation.
- Consider the well-being of children. For instance, be careful not to speak negatively about your spouse. Additionally, don’t discuss legal proceedings where your child/ren may overhear.
- Schedule a meeting with an experienced divorce attorney (Family Law Attorney). Legal guidance and representation can make the process easier. You also benefit from the knowledge and experience of a professional.
- Create an inventory of financial records. (Keep in mind if you share accounts with your spouse, financial institutions and advisors have no obligation to keep your requests for money or information confidential.)
Marital assets include more than just cash, savings and checking accounts. Certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds, money market accounts, real estate, real estate investment trusts (REITs), mutual funds, savings bonds, retirement accounts, and more are also included. In most cases, property held by either spouse before the marriage, or received as a gift intended for one spouse alone is generally excluded from division. Inherited property is also usually excluded.
North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. Therefore, division of assets must be fair. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split. Negotiate the property settlement with your spouse and divide property you see fit. If this isn’t possible, the court does it for you.