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How Does Collaborative Divorce Affect Equitable Distribution?

In many divorces, spouses dread the equitable distribution process. On one hand, spouses with high net worths might fear losing a considerable portion of their wealth after handing over assets to their ex. On the other hand, “receiving” spouses might fear losing out on their fair share due to financial loopholes, legal tricks, and concealed assets. The process is made even more complex and stressful by the arduous and drawn-out system of litigated divorces. But there is another way, and it is called collaborative divorce. So, what exactly is collaborative divorce, and how might it affect your equitable distribution process?

If you have questions about the equitable distribution process, collaborative divorce, or anything even remotely related to your separation, it is probably a good idea to consult a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina. Our legal professionals can listen carefully to your unique situation and recommend the best course of action. The truth is that collaborative divorce can be beneficial for virtually all couples, including those who are dividing considerable assets during the equitable distribution process. Even if you have relatively few assets to your name, a collaborative divorce can be less stressful, less expensive, and much quicker than a litigated divorce. It is best to get in touch with a lawyer who has experience with collaborative divorce as soon as possible if you wish to discuss this subject.

Equitable Distribution: A Brief Review

Equitable distribution is the legal doctrine followed by North Carolina and most other states when helping spouses divide property following a divorce. According to this system, assets are divided in an “equitable” manner rather than a “fair” manner. The general consensus is that a “fair” split would simply be 50/50. On the other hand, an “equitable” split would take into account various factors to approach this process in a more careful, considerate manner. The classic example is a vehicle used primarily by one spouse for work. Under a system of equitable distribution, the spouse who actually needs the car would retain ownership. In exchange, they might be required to hand over another asset of equal value that they do not need as much.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Help With Equitable Distribution?

Collaborative divorce can help make this process easier in a number of different ways. Firstly, this process gives spouses a much wider range of potential options. They get to choose how their property is divided instead of leaving the decision in the hands of a judge who does not really understand the ins and outs of the family’s life.

For example, a litigated divorce might result in the judge simply ordering that a family home be sold. This makes things easier for the courts, as they can simply force the spouses to split the proceeds of the real estate sale. However, this might not be the best choice for the family – especially if there are children involved. A collaborative divorce can help spouses explore a range of options that might be better, including continued co-ownership, buyouts, or trading assets of equal value.

Spouses can also benefit from collaborative divorce because it is cheaper and quicker. Even if they disagree on how certain assets should be divided, these disputes can be handled with a few days of negotiation. A separation agreement is then drafted, allowing them to finalize their divorce much quicker than a litigated divorce.

Finally, a collaborative divorce typically allows spouses to resolve their differences in a much more civilized and “human” manner. On the other hand, litigated divorces tend to pit spouses against each other, causing feelings of bitterness and resentment that remain long after the conclusion of the trial. Because both spouses can have a say in how property is divided, they can exert a certain degree of control over their own separation.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped spouses of all types take full advantage of the collaborative law process. We know that dividing your assets is never easy, and disputes are almost inevitable. But you do not need to settle these disputes in court. Instead, you can work out your differences in a more civilized way during a constructive negotiation. This ensures that both parties walk away feeling satisfied. Collaborative divorce is not just beneficial for property division, either. It can also be advantageous for things like child custody, alimony, and much more. Book your consultation today, and we can discuss your full range of legal options in much greater detail.