Going through a divorce is a stressful situation for anyone. When you have several high-value assets involved, however, you may face even more challenges and battles regarding how the property that your spouse and you own will be divided. There are many steps that a party should take in a high-asset divorce in order to protect their interests, including ensuring that the assets are valued appropriately. At the Olsinski Law Firm, our Charlotte and Concord divorce lawyers have assisted many people throughout North Carolina with a high-asset divorce. We know how daunting this process can seem, which is why we ensure that each client receives the personalized and compassionate legal counsel that they deserve.Understanding the Unique Aspects of a High-Asset Divorce
A couple that is going through a high-asset divorce must take a few additional things into consideration compared to other couples. Sometimes, one spouse earned the overwhelming majority of the couple’s income, which can create tensions regarding who will receive certain assets. There can also be disputes, however, when both parties are in a high-income bracket.
North Carolina has adopted an equitable distribution approach to divorce, which does not require that the assets of a divorcing couple are divided exactly in half. Instead, the court will take an approach that attempts to reach a fair or equitable outcome. This allows both spouses to argue that they are entitled to more than half of the assets, which is why it is imperative to have a seasoned divorce lawyer on your side to protect your interests. Although the court will begin with a presumption that an equal division is fair, the court can take into account factors like the parties’ work history, income levels, and contributions to raising children or keeping the home, as well as the ability of each spouse to earn an income following the dissolution of the marriage.
There are some statistics that highlight common trends among high-asset couples seeking a divorce. Typically, they have been married for about 10 years, have children, and are in their mid-thirties. In many cases, at least one party owns a business, and the couple has several assets and retirement accounts to divide.
Regardless of the asset level involved in your divorce, there are three common issues that the couple must address: child custody and support, the distribution of marital assets, and alimony. These are more complex in a high-asset divorce. When it comes to child support, for example, North Carolina courts follow a pre-determined guide or formula to determine the amount of income that is needed to raise a child. It is based on several factors, including the number of nights that the child will spend with each parent, the parents’ respective incomes, daycare expenses, and other costs that raising the child may involve. The child support calculator only goes up to a gross combined income of $25,000 per month, however, so if a couple earns more than that, they may face issues in determining a fair way to allocate child support.
Unlike with child support, North Carolina courts do not have a pre-set guideline to follow when determining whether it is proper to award alimony to a spouse. Instead, the court will consider factors like the financial needs of each party, the standard of living to which the requesting party has become accustomed, the employment incomes and earnings of the parties, the marital debts, and the reasonable and necessary expenses that each spouse will incur to support themselves following the divorce. If the resources of the party seeking alimony are not adequate, the court can award alimony. The court can also award post separation support, which is basically temporary alimony during the pendency of the divorce action until a final decision is made. Long-term alimony can be an issue in high-asset cases, in which the court can consider marital misconduct, earnings, age and physical limitations, the length of the marriage, educational backgrounds, and tax consequences.Meet with a Skilled Divorce Lawyer in Charlotte or Concord
Whether you are considering filing for a divorce or you are already involved in a divorce, it is important that you understand your rights and the rules that govern divorces to ensure that you are treated fairly. Divorces can be very contentious, and sometimes spouses do not play fair when it comes to finding an amicable resolution. Having a skilled divorce attorney on your side to act as a clear-headed representative can make the process more efficient for everyone involved. We proudly counsel people throughout Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, including in Charlotte, Concord, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, Cornelius, Davidson, Pineville, Kannapolis, Harrisburg, Midland, and Mount Pleasant. To schedule your free consultation, call our Charlotte office at 704-405-2580 or our Concord office at 704-918-4747, or contact us online.