What Are the Key Factors Influencing Alimony Decisions in North Carolina’s High-Value Divorces?

What Are the Key Factors Influencing Alimony Decisions in North Carolina’s High-Value Divorces?

In North Carolina, How Is Alimony Handled In a High-Asset Divorce?

First, in North Carolina (and most states), no significant or exact number specifically delineates a ” high-net-worth” or “high-value” divorce.

Generally, a high-value divorce (or high net worth) could be defined as a household in which you, or you and your spouse, both earn more than $300,000 per year or more. Another factor that may indicate a high-value divorce is that the asset value in your marriage exceeds one million dollars or more.

When you divorce in North Carolina, you and your spouse must complete a legal” Financial Affidavit” and an “Equitable Distribution Inventory Affidavit.”
These documents, when completed, will provide the information needed so that you and your experienced divorce lawyer can accurately determine whether your divorce can be classified as “high value.”

Understanding how alimony works in North Carolina before any divorce, especially those designated as high value, can reach a fair settlement amount for you and your spouse is critical.

Also, alimony is almost always part of the final divorce settlement in virtually all high-value divorces. Therefore, you and your lawyer must determine your spouse’s precise earnings, how these earnings may compare with yours, their possible earning capacities, and the style of life and standard of living you both had during your marriage.

One of the main factors considered is the lifestyle both of you were accustomed to, especially if you were married for a long time.

If you (or both of you) made an income of $300,000 or more, you probably had a lifestyle that may have included such things as;

  • Memberships in private country clubs.
  • Take overseas and out-of-country vacations.
  • Dining at high-end or 5-star restaurants.
  • Having a private driver.
  • Having access to or owning vacation homes or multiple properties.
  • Going to exclusive sports or other types of events, and more.

The decision on alimony payments can be very challenging. That said, your experienced, detail-oriented, and diligent divorce lawyers’ guidance in sifting through the facts to determine this settlement will be invaluable when negotiating the amount to be paid.

What Other Factors May the North Carolina Court Consider In a High-Value Divorce?

Of course, the circumstances in all high-value divorces differ, and along with your spouse’s lifestyle, another issue that often comes up is whether one spouse didn’t work during their marriage.

In many high-value divorces, one spouse makes a significant income, while the other spouse may stop working to manage their home and care for the children.

If the spouse stays home and doesn’t work, they may be unable to immediately or ever enter the workforce again.

Some things the court may consider when deciding alimony payments are;

  • Your dependent spouse could work but chose not to.
  • Did your spouse care for your family full-time, or did they have help?
  • The education level and skill set of your dependent spouse.
  • How long were you married, your dependent spouse out of the workforce, and many other factors?

Usually, the dependent spouse, along with the professional guidance of their lawyer, will determine whether any or all of the above factors were present during their marriage. Commonly, suppose any of the abovementioned factors were present during their marriage. In that case, alimony will be awarded so that the spouse can maintain the standard of living they’ve been accustomed to.

It should be noted that if the dependent spouse is awarded alimony in a high-net-worth divorce, the next question to be decided upon is the duration of the alimony paid. This is another critical decision, and your North Carolina divorce lawyer’s negotiating skills and professional guidance will prove invaluable in reaching a just settlement.

Are There Ways to Protect My Assets in a High-Value Divorce?

Maintaining control of your assets during a high-asset divorce is another critical factor that must be explored and decided upon. Your highly trained, experienced, high-value divorce lawyer will explore and implement strategies to protect assets during your divorce proceedings and into the future.

Just a few of the legal means you may use to protect your assets are;

  • A drafting of a prenuptial (or postnuptial) Agreement – These valuable legal tools, when used professionally and well-drafted, will precisely detail how the distribution of assets will occur if you and your spouse divorce.
  • Establishing a trust to “wall-off” assets – A professionally drafted trust is highly effective in safeguarding specific assets. By legally separating them from your marital estate, these trusts may protect family inheritances, business interests, and other significant holdings.
  • Through separate property agreements – Your lawyer will use these documents to separate any property acquired before your marriage or by gift or inheritance.

The above are only a few of the many ways specific legal tools are used to protect assets, bank accounts, and more when dealing with a high-value divorce. You already may know some of these strategies, but your lawyer has the knowledge and foresight to implement an unfamiliar strategy you may not have even considered.

How Can a Well-Versed High-Value Divorce Lawyer Help Me?

Although a high-asset divorce may be somewhat like other divorces, many will significantly differ, and these differences demand a higher and more knowledgeable professional standing in the lawyer you choose to represent you.

Your high-asset divorce lawyer will have done numerous high-asset divorces and will know precisely how to analyze all the facts and data and draft a well-thought-out strategy to protect your rights and assets.

Just some of the things your lawyer may do are;

  • Perform a detailed analysis of your finances – Your attorney will assess your assets and financial situation and the goals you’re trying to attain and maintain in the future.
  • They will strategically and uniquely plan your divorce – Based on the previous assessment, a plan will be drafted tailored to your unique circumstances.
  • They will provide expert negotiation and possibly mediation – Issues always arise in high-value divorces, and they will use negotiation or mediation to minimize the conflict, your expenses, and your current and future liabilities.
  • Provide proven litigation skills – If litigation can’t be avoided, your high-asset divorce attorney will be prepared to promote and defend your interests vigorously. Obtaining a fair and just resolution and protecting your rights and assets are paramount.

I Am About to Enter a High-Value Divorce; What Should I Do Now?

All high-asset divorces involve complex legal proceedings. The outcome of these divorces will almost always impact your future, finances, and possibly lifestyle. This is why you must have the guidance of an experienced, well-versed, high-asset divorce law team. With sound, empathetic, and highly knowledgeable legal counsel, you can confidently move forward, knowing your future is in expert and capable hands.

Kreider Attorneys at Law will provide you with the passionate and detailed communication skills required at this critical time. Their service-oriented, professional, high-value divorce lawyers (one of which was a Judge) will fight to ensure that your divorce settlement is fair and your rights are fully protected.

They also have a long and winning history in litigation, which often occurs in high-value divorces.

Call their office today at 336-770-2017 and obtain a full consultation on your case. They will tirelessly strive to provide you with all the legal options possible to move forward positively with your life.