What to Expect with the Collaborative Law Process

The spirit of Collaborative Law is more of a “troubleshoot and problem solve” approach, rather than the “fight and win” setting of a courtroom. Both parties use mediation and negotiations to settle their divorce in a collaborative divorce process, which can be less stressful on a family unit. It takes two willing participants for a…

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What is the best course for divorce?

The knee jerk reaction when one is facing divorce has been for each spouse to go out and hire the toughest “bull-dog”attorneys they can find. This would be followed by drag-out court battles where there is only going to be one “winner,” and both sides will run up hefty legal bills.  While this model might…

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Comparing Adoption Attorneys

There are many reasons why people interested in adoption use an attorney. It’s important for the adoptive parents and the placing parent to have separate legal representation to make certain that their respective rights are protected and to assure a safe, permanent, final adoption.  Whether you choose a private adoption, an agency adoption, an intrastate…

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How do I choose a good family law attorney?

Choosing a good family law attorney may seem to be an impossible task (may seem to be difficult), but if you follow some basic advice, you will be able to find/choose/locate/obtain counsel that can best help you efficiently and effectively achieve your goals.    Knowledge of the Law  Any good attorney must start with a solid…

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Factors the Court Considers When Making Equal or Un-Equal Distribution

North Carolina courts are to make an equal division of the marital estate unless they determine that an equal division is not equitable.  In making this determination, the court shall consider the following factors, all of which are set forth at North Carolina General Statute § 50-20(c): (1) The income, property, and liabilities of each…

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Tax Consequences of Equitable Distribution Awards

Post-separation property transfers between spouses are considered “incident to divorce” and are generally not subject to taxes by the Internal Revenue Service.  However, if the transfers take place a year or more after the separation, there is a presumption that the transfer was not incident to the separation and consequently the transfer becomes taxable.  This…

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Property Subject to Equitable Distribution

Property that is subject to equitable distribution includes real property, vehicles, household furniture and furnishings, bank accounts, investment accounts, annuities, retirement accounts, business interests, cash, the cash value of life insurance policies, art, collectibles, jewelry, electronics and anything other asset or item of property acquired during the marriage.  Regardless of how an asset is titled…

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The Role of Marital Fault in Equitable Distribution

Generally speaking, the marital fault or misconduct (adultery, cruelty or inhumane treatment, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, nonsupport, etc.) of a party is not relevant in the equitable distribution proceeding.  However, if the misconduct has an economic impact on the parties’ financial condition, then the court may consider this and determine that an unequal distribution is…

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Different Types of Property:  Marital, Separate and Divisible

As discussed briefly above, there are two main categories of property in the equitable distribution context, marital property and separate property. Marital property is broadly defined under statute and includes “all real and personal property acquired by either spouse or both spouses during the course of the marriage and before the date of the separation…

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Steps in Equitable Distribution

There are four steps in the equitable distribution process:  (1) identification, (2) categorization, (3) valuation and (4) distribution.   Identification. The first step in the equitable distribution process is to identify all property owned by one or both parties on the date of separation. Property that is identified during this stage includes real property, vehicles, household furniture and…

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