Alimony, Property Division and Your Economic Future
The economic impact of divorce on your life cannot be overstated. A family income that has until now supported one household must support two. The court will decide whether you can remain in your home, and will divide your personal property, marital assets and marital debt between you and your spouse. If the proceedings include a petition for alimony, the court record may include intimate details of your personal life.
The advocacy of a skilled and committed lawyer is essential during equitable distribution of marital assets and debts, and determination of post-separation support and alimony. Attorneys at our firm, Crumpler Freedman Parker & Witt, are leaders in North Carolina family law. We provide our clients with representation designed to help them achieve their goals and to protect their long-term interests. If you would like to speak with a member of our family law practice about divorce and your financial future, please contact our Winston-Salem office.
Equitable distribution and alimony in North Carolina
In North Carolina, division of marital property is handled by a district court judge. There are three phases to the process: identification of assets as separate and marital, valuation of those assets, and finally, equitable distribution. Our attorneys have handled complex divorces involving as much as $50 million in assets, as well proceedings for those with modest estates. The law on equitable distribution is short. It states that the division should be equal unless, after consideration of 13 factors, the judge feels another division is fair. It is extremely important that the case presented to the judge on your behalf be strong and clear. If your assets include shares in a professional association or business, our lawyers will work with forensic accountants to see that you are treated fairly during the process.
We will explain how you can reduce your legal expenses by doing some of the legwork, assembling records, performing basic research and getting documents in place. It is our goal to provide advice that has maximum value.
Alimony and post-separation spousal support
The court will consider not only the economic needs of each spouse when making a decision about alimony, but events leading to your divorce. At your initial conference, your lawyer will discuss the point at which you began to have marital problems and guide you through any sensitive discussions that follow. Alimony is determined independently of custody, visitation and child support, and the decree will reflect the needs of the dependent spouse and the resources of the paying spouse as well as any fault. Alimony might be ordered until the death of one party, but more commonly is designed to help the dependent spouse develop skills and reenter the workplace. Alimony is subject to post-decree modification.
Divorce settlements versus trials
Whenever possible, our lawyers will help our clients resolve questions of alimony and division of assets through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution processes, avoiding the expense and publicity associated with a trial. Yet they are also skilled litigators, fully prepared to advocate for our clients at any stage of court proceeding.
We invite you to call us at 1.866.567.5824 or e-mail our office to arrange a meeting with one of our attorneys, a conference that typically will last for an hour or more. We charge a modest consultation fee for this consultation, during which your lawyer will evaluate your goals and resources and advise you on how to proceed. Because circumstances vary greatly, we do not quote fees over the telephone.
For more information on domestic law, see our Family Law Information Center.
Winston-Salem Lawyers, Handling Alimony and Equitable Distribution