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Photo of attorney Rhonda Patterson
Photo of attorney Rhonda Patterson

How Assets Are Divided

During asset division proceedings, North Carolina family courts follow the principle of equitable distribution. What this means is that, although it is presumed that couples’ assets should be split 50-50, certain factors could cause one spouse to receive more (or fewer) assets than the other. Judges apportion possessions according to their own sense of fairness.

The legal team at The Patterson Law Office, PLLC, can assist. We offer qualified guidance to individuals entering the asset division process, and work hard to protect our clients’ interests. We are skilled at presenting the full scope of our clients’ financial needs before the court, and are adept at helping spouses devise their own asset distribution agreements — so that they can keep control of their own possessions, rather than being vulnerable to a judge’s discretion.

What About Retirement Assets?

Many individuals wonder how retirement assets will be divided. If, during marriage, one spouse has been contributing funds to a 401(k) or Roth IRA account, or is set to receive a pension at the end of one’s career, how will that impact divorce proceedings? Will it affect spousal support payments.

Most retirement accounts and benefits earned during the marriage are considered marital property, and are subject to division. Because these assets may not be immediately accessible, or have reached their full value, there is a special process in place for distributing them. Namely, spouses must obtain a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), a legal document that specifically delineates how retirement assets ought to be divided.

Working with a lawyer is crucial when obtaining a QDRO. If a particular asset isn’t included in the document, or the full scope of a couple’s retirement portfolio isn’t considered, then one spouse may find themselves significantly disadvantaged in the long term.

When A Spouse Tries To Conceal Assets

Concealing marital property from divorce proceedings is sanctionable. Nevertheless, individuals often try to do it.

There are many means by which individuals hide assets. One might store financial holdings in an offshore account. One may sign the deeds to substantial holdings, such as automobiles or real estate, over to trusted family or friends. While such schemes may seem viable, they often end up backfiring.

If you believe your spouse is attempting to hide assets, we can investigate. Our firm works with a range of forensic accountants and other financial professionals and is able to uncover concealed assets efficiently and effectively.

Protecting Your Interests And Asserting Your Rights

To speak with an attorney, reach out to The Patterson Law Office, PLLC, today. You can call us at 704-749-3106 or contact us online. Based in Charlotte, we serve throughout Mecklenburg County, and are always prepared to answer your questions and address your concerns.