The North Carolina family courts use equitable distribution to split up your property during a divorce. Unless you have a marital agreement with your spouse, you can expect that the courts will focus on a fair way to divide your marital property.
Of course, fairness depends on the court having accurate information about marital assets and debts. Unfortunately, some spouses will manipulate this process in their own favor. You need to be watchful for the three following ways that some people will sometimes try to cheat their spouse out of marital property during a divorce.
Your spouse might try to hide property
Some people start a secret savings account when they decide they want to file for divorce. Other people own large amounts of valuable personal property that they don’t report to their spouse or the courts in the divorce. Hidden accounts, cash and other assets collected during the marriage but not disclosed during the divorce can you let your spouse gets more than their fair share of your marital estate.
Your spouse might give away or destroy property
Destroying marital property, giving assets away or racking up debt on joint credit cards are all examples of behaviors spouses might undertake to diminish the marital estate. In some cases, people will sell or give assets as valuable as vehicles to friends, family or co-workers and then reclaim that property after the divorce.
Your spouse might spend a lot of money on themselves or someone else
Giving away or destroying property is considered marital asset dissipation. Using assets for personal benefit or to the detriment of your marriage can also constitute dissipation. If one spouse goes out and spends thousands of dollars on a credit card shopping for themselves or having an affair, the money they spend could also affect how you split up your property.
Finding hidden assets, determining how much your spouse wasted or tracking down other forms of dissipation can I help you ask the court to consider that misconduct when they try to equitably split up your property. Your family law attorney can help.