What is the Best Way to Divorce a Criminal in North Carolina?

Unfortunately, many spouses in North Carolina find themselves in marriages with criminals. These kinds of marriages can form for several reasons. Perhaps you were initially attracted to these criminal activities and thought that they were interesting. Maybe your spouse was forced into a life of crime due to financial hardship. Maybe you had no idea your spouse was engaged in crime until very recently, and you were under the impression that they had a legitimate job. Whatever the case may be, divorcing a criminal is often the right move. But what is the best way to go about this?

One of your first steps should be to get in touch with a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina. Our legal professionals can guide you through the divorce process, no matter what issues arise along the way. Even though this situation can be difficult to deal with, there is always a way out for spouses who no longer want to continue with their marriages. You have the right to walk away from your marriage, regardless of whether your spouse is a law-abiding citizen or a criminal.

Prioritize Safety

The most important thing in this situation is to prioritize your own personal safety and that of your children. The truth is that you never know what someone with a criminal past will do or how they will react when confronted with the possibility of a divorce. You might want to inform your spouse of your plan to get a divorce in a crowded area or alongside someone you trust. And, of course, if you have knowledge of any criminal activities, it is always a good idea to inform the authorities as soon as possible. Withholding this information may even result in you facing criminal charges yourself.

Be Prepared for Concealed Assets

If someone is willing to commit crimes, they are probably willing to conceal assets in an attempt to prevent you from getting your fair share in a divorce. Because of this, you need to be prepared for the possibility of concealed assets. Your spouse may have cash hidden away, or they may have hidden bank accounts. You might want to hire a specialist to help you track down these concealed assets, such as a forensic accountant.

With all that said, it is worth mentioning that you cannot access funds that were earned illegally. If your spouse earned money through criminal actions, those funds will be seized by the authorities, and you will not receive any of it. Your spouse may have set up legitimate businesses, however, and you may be able to recover funds from these sources. But even seemingly legitimate businesses are often used to launder illegal funds, so you need to keep that in mind, as well.

How Addiction Affects Divorce

Crimes involving addiction can easily affect divorce. For example, your spouse may be addicted to illicit drugs. If this is the case, you will likely retain sole physical custody of your children after the divorce. This is especially true if your spouse has used drugs in the presence of your children in the past. In this situation, a judge will act in the children’s best interests and prevent your spouse from spending much time with the kids after the divorce. If you feel that this is too harsh, you can always pursue a collaborative divorce and create a more accommodating child custody agreement without as much involvement from a judge.

You May Be Implicated

It is also worth mentioning that a lot of information can come out of a divorce, and some of this information might even implicate you in certain crimes. This is especially true if you were aware of your spouse’s crimes but did nothing to report them. While spouses are provided with a certain degree of legal protection in this situation, you might want to pursue a collaborative divorce. This type of divorce involves negotiations that occur behind closed doors, and these negotiations never go on public record. This might allow you to talk more freely about the details of your divorce without fear of facing criminal charges.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified, experienced family law attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have seen all kinds of divorces. We know that this process can reveal all kinds of issues, including criminal allegations and even prison time. With our help, you can approach this matter in the most careful, efficient way possible. Book your consultation today, and we can listen to your unique situation before recommending the best course of action. This situation may be easier to deal with than you think.