Charlotte Real Estate & Investment Divorce Lawyers
Experienced guidance in division of assets in North Carolina divorce
When you first get married, or even 10 to 20 years into a marriage, you’re rarely thinking about what might happen to your investments and real estate in the event of a divorce. And, for most married couples, their biggest shared assets happen to be investments and real estate. If you currently find yourself facing divorce or separation, you may indeed have lots of questions.
The Charlotte family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC have decades of experience working with property division, equitable distribution and other matters relating to divorce and family law. We can provide guidance and answer all of your questions. When we work with you, our only goal is protecting your best interests. Contact us today.
Is my Charlotte real estate separate or marital property? How is it divided?
Whether or not real estate, also called real property, is considered separate or marital property depends on a number of factors. First, a quick primer on separate versus marital real property:
- Separate property would be any property you or your spouse owned before your marriage, or any property you or your spouse received during the marriage via an inheritance or gift.
- Marital property is any property bought during the marriage with your joint income.
North Carolina’s equitable distribution laws are laid out in detail in G.S. Chapter 50-20.
If the court determines that the real estate is separate property, it can’t be awarded to the other spouse. However, if the court determines the real estate is marital property, you and your spouse must determine the value of the property and then how to divide either the equity or debt. You may decide to sell the property, or one of you may decide to keep it.
Typically, most divorcing couples need to divide the value of the marital home. If one spouse prefers to continue residing in the home (common with parents who have primary child custody), they may keep the home as well as all of the debts associated with it. Or, the spouses may agree that one spouse will keep the house and give the other half of the equity.
You and your spouse are free to get creative in dividing up real estate, as long as you document and sign a divorce agreement stating so. Our Charlotte attorneys can assist you with mediating and arbitrating these types of agreements. Lastly, if you and your spouse are unable to come to agreement on how to divide your real estate, the courts may make the decision for you.
What happens to our investments during our divorce?
Investments like retirement and pension accounts, stocks and other investment accounts are also subject to equitable division if they’re considered marital property. However, because these are highly regulated accounts, you’ll typically need a North Carolina court order (called a QDRO) to change payment terms and beneficiaries. The skilled legal team at Epperson Law Group, PLLC can guide you through the QDRO process.
How can I protect my Charlotte real estate and investments in my divorce?
If you’re facing divorce, you may be concerned about the potential effects on your investments and real estate. When couples go into a marriage with significant real property or investments, it’s important to consider a premarital agreement. If these investments occur after your marriage, you may consider a postmarital agreement. Separation agreements are also a good way to protect and manage your assets throughout the divorce process, if you are able to come to mutual agreement with your spouse. Our attorneys can help you protect your financial interests and work to maximize distribution in your favor.
I think my spouse is hiding assets like cash, investments and real estate. What do I do?
Sometimes a spouse may hide or conceal assets in an attempt to hold on to what they believe is rightfully theirs. Unfortunately, this is not only wrong but also illegal. During equitable distribution, both spouses are required to report all of their assets. However, there may be occasions where one spouse chooses to conceal assets or misreport income in order to prevent the other spouse from receiving their fair share of a divorce settlement.
Common signs one spouse is attempting to conceal assets or property include:
- Your spouse tends to have a lot of pocket cash, yet their bank account or paycheck has decreased. Often, individuals attempting to hide monetary assets will be paid under the table to avoid having the money show up on their paychecks.
- Your spouse suddenly starts gifting expensive and valuable items, like jewelry and artwork. Sometimes this is an attempt to hide property until your divorce is finalized, and will be gifted back after your divorce terms are settled.
- Another way to hide assets is through expensive purchases. Sometimes a spouse will purchase expensive art or jewelry, and then understate its value during the divorce process. This is called converting cash to property. After the divorce is finalized, the spouse sells the item back at its actual value for cash.
Let our attorneys provide sound, practical legal advice when you’re facing a high net worth divorce. Your financial rights deserve protection, too.
Dedicated Charlotte real estate and investment divorce attorneys
The lawyers at Epperson Law Group, PLLC are experts in the field of family law and work to help our divorce clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case. We provide practical and strategic knowledge to help you navigate the divorce process with aplomb. Contact us today. You’ll find our offices right off Exit 57 from I-485. To reserve a consultation with one of our lawyers in Charlotte, Boone, or Weddington, please call 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact form.