Reaching agreement on equitable distribution and financial support are among the most contentious issues in a divorce. At Nelson Family Law, we approach the financial aspects of your case by combining N.C. legal requirements with common sense, numerical precision and creativity. We seek win-win solutions for our clients wherever possible to reduce the potential for future conflict.
Equitable distribution in N.C.
Equitable distribution means a “fair” – but not necessarily “equal” – division of assets and liabilities. Instead of an equal 50/50 split of marital property and debts, N.C. law considers the financial situation of each spouse in determining how the marital assets should be divided. The court will consider many factors in determining property and debt division, such as the duration of the marriage, age and health of each spouse, earning potential of each spouse, the value of any separate property each spouse may own, and spousal support or child support obligations.
We work with our clients to identify all assets and debts that fall into the category of “marital property.” Then we help them establish the value of those assets (and debts) and develop a strategy for property division that best meets their needs and goals. We can also assist you in protecting separate and non-marital property or property such as a house that is mixed – partially separate and partially marital. Then, child support is calculated to determine how the financial needs of the child(ren) will be met.
Alimony and transitional post-separation support
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is the financial support one spouse pays to the other after divorce. The support is intended to enable the dependent spouse to meet his or her reasonable needs. Factors for determining alimony include the financial needs of both parties, the standard of living to which the spouses are accustomed, current income and earning potential of the individuals, and separate and marital debt.
Nelson Family Law is skilled at negotiating alimony settlements – with experience representing both dependent and supporting spouses. In addition, we sometimes seek transitional post-separation support to help the dependent spouse adjust to living as a single person.
Raleigh child support attorneys
Before child support can be determined, the child custody arrangement must first be established. Then child support is calculated to determine how the financial needs of the child(ren) will be met. Our attorneys advocate for our clients by ensuring the opposing party presents truthful information to the court and meets his or her financial obligations to the child.
Unlike many aspects of a divorce settlement, child support is primarily determined by the rules set forth by the N.C. Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines establish each parent’s financial obligations to the child(ren), factoring in expenses such as work-related child care, health insurance and extraordinary expenses. Child support then acts as an equalizer to reimburse the parent who has contributed beyond what is required.
The formula used by the N.C. Child Support Guidelines is far from perfect, but it does minimize costly litigation. One party may petition the court to deviate from the Guidelines, but the judge will rarely find a deviation appropriate, and the process for this filing motion is quite complex.