Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What happens when a person’s income is not guaranteed and fluctuates from year to year”.
Finances are among the issues that are most often areas of contention in divorce. Couples may agree on many things, but when it comes to money, the couple might disagree. North Carolina is a state that requires equitable distribution of assets. This simply means that the property, assets, and debts the couple have accumulated during marriage are to be divided between each party in a fair and equitable manner. Going through a divorce can be stressful and you will want to ensure that you get the assets that you deserve. An experienced North Carolina divorce attorney will assist you in obtaining a fair resolution.
North Carolina General Statutes section 50-20 (b)(1) defines marital property as “all real and personal property acquired by either spouse or both spouses during the course of the marriage and before the date of separation.” Generally, any property that you purchased while you were married belongs to both parties and must be divided equitably in a divorce. This includes all of your assets, including such things as pension and retirement funds. There are only several instances in which property may belong exclusively to one spouse such as when that person received an inheritance or gift, or when they owned the property prior to getting married. Debts are also divided between both spouses.
How Will I Know How Much Money My Spouse Has?
North Carolina requires both spouses to submit a financial disclosure statement. Each person must provide information about their assets and debts, including property that they believe to be non-marital. Through the divorce process, attorneys utilize discovery to obtain financial details that are necessary to determine equitable distribution. If you believe that your spouse is withholding information about their finances, your attorney can request documents. In addition, your attorney may request a deposition from your spouse. During deposition, your spouse must provide accurate information and answers to financial questions. A spouse is under oath to tell the truth during a deposition under serious penalty.
What if My Spouse Hides Assets?
A spouse may try to hide assets in a number of ways. For instance, they could give funds to a relative or friend to hold until the divorce is complete. A spouse could take money out of an account or move it to another account. Another way of hiding money might be to purchase something to which they alone have the title. Trying to hide assets is illegal. Some plans to hide assets are very simple while other schemes might be complicated. An experienced attorney understands where assets might get hidden and can take appropriate steps to locate the assets so it can be properly distributed in the divorce. Discuss your financial matters with your divorce attorney as soon as possible in the divorce process. Your lawyer will help you gather the documents you need to prove marital property.
Divorce can be complex, especially when it comes to finances. Contact Arnold and Smith PLLC today for legal insight and support. Get a phone, video or in-person consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.
The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.
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