The Law offices of Arnold & Smith - John Price Carr House
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Interim Distribution

Divorce is almost never easy. There are simply too many emotions tied up in the process of dissolving a marriage to part without some pain. Though emotions cannot be avoided, there are other aspects of the divorce process that do not have to be as difficult as they often are. Specifically, the financial aspects of the split can be made easier with the help of an experienced Mooresville family law attorney. A skilled divorce attorney will understand how to navigate the legal system and fight to ensure that you receive the money that is rightfully yours.

This is especially important when divorce occurs among couples with different financial situations. When a relationship ends and one party is more financially secure than the other, it can create unnecessary stress for the party without the benefit of the financial resources. The party will worry about how to make ends meet, not only after the divorce is over, but often during the divorce itself. If one party vastly out earns the other party or has established separate bank accounts, he or she will then be able to draw on these accounts or this extra income to stay afloat during the divorce. What about the party without the big income or the full savings accounts?

In these cases, it is up to your lawyer to fight to even the playing field. If not, the parties will enter the divorce with a substantial financial disparity and this can spell disaster for the party without the money. Not only might you struggle to afford housing and other basic necessities, it may be more difficult to hire and pay a lawyer to fight on your behalf, further disadvantaging you in an already lopsided struggle. Without the money to hire a capable family law attorney, your spouse can more easily push for an unfair divorce settlement agreement, leaving you with few options but to agree.

Thankfully, the North Carolina legislature has realized that unequal financial resources is a serious problem for those facing divorce. Legislators took steps to help level the playing field by passing laws that allow for what is known as an interim distribution. What is interim distribution? Interim distribution is when one party asks the court to distribute the assets of the other party prior to the end of the divorce. Normally, assets are apportioned as part of the final divorce settlement agreement. In cases where one party needs access to the resources of the other party, an interim distribution can ensure that the disadvantaged party has money early on in the divorce process rather than having to wait until the very end.

Is interim distribution granted in every case? No, courts require those seeking interim distribution to present evidence showing why there is good cause for them to order that assets be divided early. There are several legitimate grounds for interim distribution that are recognized by courts. Examples include general hardship, inability to secure and pay for stable housing and inability to pay for basic living expenses. Either party can file the petition for interim distribution, the only thing that is required is that there be good cause.

After a couple has separated, either party can petition that joint property and separate property be divided, something known as equitable division. If the equitable division process occurs ahead of the final divorce, it can be seen as a preliminary distribution of property. This property can include a number of things, like a house, cars, or bank accounts. The court will view any assets or liabilities awarded to one party as a distributive award. Any distributive award that occurs prior to the final distribution of property will be taken into account at the end, ensuring that the overall balance between the parties remains equitable.

If you are in the process of divorcing or are considering filing for divorce in Mooresville, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson or other Lake Norman surrounding areas and are worried about potential financial disparities, please take time to reach out to an experienced family law attorney. The lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have been practicing family law for years and know how to put their knowledge to work for you. We have North Carolina Board Certified Specialists in Family Law on staff and they will ensure that you receive the highest quality legal care possible. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our Mooresville family law attorneys.