What is a Financial Disclosure in a North Carolina Divorce?

7-1024x1024What is a Financial Disclosure in a North Carolina Divorce?

When a couple decides to end their marriage, they begin the divorce process. In North Carolina, a couple must live apart for at least a year before they may seek a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce is based on the fact that both parties agree that the marriage is over and cannot be saved. The next step is for couples to divide their assets and debts in a fair and equitable manner. Marital property is property that the couple has obtained during their marriage.


Financial Disclosure of Assets and Debts

As part of the divorce process, parties must each provide full financial disclosure. This includes all your assets as well as your liabilities, also called debts. You will need to include your income, bank accounts, real property, vehicles, investments, and retirement accounts. You must also include your property, such as furniture, jewelry, art, collectibles, and any other valuable items. Your liabilities should include any loans, mortgages, credit card debt, and any other debts you owe. You will also need to provide a list of your expenses as well as tax returns.


Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How Can I protect myself from my spouses spending habits?”


Full Transparency is Essential

Full transparency is essential when parties provide financial disclosure in divorce. The court relies on this information to ensure that you achieve a fair and equitable distribution. The disclosure requires you to provide financial details during your marriage and until the date you separated. The first step is to identify your assets and liabilities. Make a list of your property and other assets, obtain bank statements, credit card statements, loan and mortgage details, and any other information.


Consequences of Failure to DiscloseFountain-pen-Charlotte-Divorce-Lawyer-Lake-Norman-Family-Law-Attorney

Parties need to understand that the failure to disclose assets could be detrimental to the outcome of the divorce settlement. If a party can prove that their spouse is hiding assets or deliberately providing misinformation in the disclosure, the judge may take that into consideration during the case. Inaccurate financial disclosure is a breach of one’s fiduciary duty. Therefore, you need to be certain that you are including everything necessary in the disclosure before you submit it to the court.


The consequences of intentionally failing to disclose assets could result in contempt of court charges. This would result in fines and other penalties that could include a jail sentence. The judge could decide to distribute the assets in an unequal manner so as to make up for the missing assets. The court may also decide to nullify any agreement between parties and that would require them to negotiate the settlement or have the court decide the distribution in trial.


Ensuring Full Disclosure

The court does not take failure to disclose lightly. It is best to seek legal guidance when providing financial disclosure in divorce. Your attorney will assist you in making sure that you locate and provide the information necessary in your disclosure. Full disclosure ensures that you will be able to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement. Proper disclosure will help to make the settlement process easier and more amicable.


Call us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to discuss the details of your divorce.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and 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.



equitable distribution | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)

Separation and Divorce | North Carolina Judicial Branch (nccourts.gov)


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