Preparing for your divorce in North Carolina

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Family Law |

Divorce is often one of the most difficult experiences people will ever go through. The end of a marriage is usually devastating, no matter how long or short the marriage.

If you are starting the divorce process in North Carolina, the idea of making legal decisions and the paperwork that goes along with it may feel overwhelming. You might be tempted to ignore the entire process, but that will only make the situation worse.

The divorce process can be complex and involves various requirements and deadlines. However, there are some steps you can take to prepare for your divorce that can make a huge difference in your divorce experience.

Understanding equitable distribution

Divorce involves a lot of numbers. North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. This means that marital property is divided equitably, or fairly, in a divorce.

Marital property is generally property acquired by you and your spouse during your marriage. Separate property is property acquired before your marriage or after your separation that is not mixed with any marital property.

Make a list of your assets and debts. This is your starting point for determining what is marital property and what is separate property.

Obtain an accurate value or balance for each one. These figures should be as close to your date of separation as possible. Have documentation to verify the numbers.

Income and tax information

If alimony or spousal support is an issue, gather your income information. This can include recent paystubs and/or a recent tax return. Income information may also be helpful for determining equitable distribution.

For example, if your spouse earns a much higher salary than you, proof of their income could help you argue that you should receive a higher share of marital property.

One of the biggest worries you may have might be surviving financially post-divorce. Divorce usually involves going from living off two incomes to once. Prepare a detailed post-divorce budget and consider what expenses you can cut if necessary.

Start building up your credit, especially if you do not have any credit in your name alone. Obtaining a credit card with a small limit and paying it off each much is an easy way to accomplish this. This increases your chance of being approved for loans in the future.