Division of Properties and Assets during Divorce
Ending a marriage through divorce can be an emotionally-draining experience for anyone, more so when it comes to deciding about divorce-related issues, such as alimony, division of properties and assets, child custody, child support and visitation rights. If the divorcing spouses fail to arrive at an agreement amicably, then the issues will need to be settled in court, in front of spectators, and determined by a judge; a court decision is always final and executor. Over the course of time, however, a decision made, say about alimony, may be petitioned for changes if there will also be changes in the circumstances of the former spouses.
To some, divorce causes fears and doubts, especially for the financially dependent spouse, who may have given up professional opportunities for the sake of his/her partner and family, as a whole. Because of divorce, lifestyle may change and the profession that one has walked away from will now need to be embraced once again, so as to be able to afford a decent living, as well as pay child support if required. For more information about child support and how to initiate the process, a Raleigh child support lawyer may be able to talk to you about your case.
The division of properties and assets in a divorce is often a hotly contested issue the process. Getting as much cash or as many properties as one can, is naturally the interest of many individuals since the more financially stable one is, the lesser worry for him/her regarding economic matters, at least in the immediate future after separation.
Before a judge can start dividing properties and assets, however, he/she will first need to determine which part of the wealth is marital and which is not. Non-marital properties and assets refer to anything that any of the spouses has owned even before the time of marriage. As such, these are exempt from being divided. Any earnings after marriage, even those resulting from non-marital wealth, though, are up for division. Now, when it comes to actual earnings, many husbands and wives in the past, especially the very wealthy ones, have been known to employ means that would keep their partners from knowing how much they really have, rationalizing that they are the only ones who have the right to enjoy what they worked so hard for.
In a number of US states properties and assets are equally divided between each spouse. Fairness and reasonableness, however, is the rule of the thumb in many other states. This means of division is based by a family court judge on the following factors:
- Length the marriage
- Income and property that each of the spouses has contributed into the marriage
- Age and health of each spouse
- Standard of living during the time of marriage
- Earning opportunities and income of each spouse
- Needs of the custodial parent for the child/children (if there are any)
Since the process of division is always complex, having an attorney who is well versed in family law and who is capable of making a tough defense for a spouse’s rights and interests is often necessary. The outcome of many court decisions often depends too on how well an attorney can convince a judge about his/her client’s needs. Making sure that one hires the right attorney should, therefore, be a concern in the event of divorce.