Married couples who decide to divorce are likely making the right decision for themselves, but going through the process can still be very challenging as hurt feelings may make trust seem impossible when trying to achieve a settlement agreement. Ending a marriage is not always easy, but these suggestions could help a pair in North Carolina.
To reach a fair settlement arrangement, both parties likely need an attorney. If only one spouse has one, the other partner puts him or herself at greater risk of not understanding something and making a mistake. If both parties want an amicable divorce but are unsure about how to proceed, mediation or negotiation are two options. Each party may still need a lawyer for either process, and a couple should not share legal counsel in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
One does not need an in-depth understanding of the law when seeking legal counsel, but each spouse must know or give their attorney relevant financial information. This may include copies of bank statements or tax returns, and one should get an idea of what a couple’s assets are worth. Knowing debts is critical too, and getting a credit report ensures one is aware of all debt. When dividing debt, understand how it works. For example, one spouse could still face negative consequences for credit card debt if the other person agreed to pay for this debt but does not.
Equitable distribution laws in North Carolina mean that spouses must split marital property in a fair way. Property one had before a marriage is generally not divisible along with gifts and inheritances. While this seems straightforward, it can easily become more complicated depending on a couple’s situation. For example, a bank account that belonged to only one spouse could be subject to division if joint money gets put into it.