An out-of-court settlement is almost always preferable to court proceedings in divorce cases. It is usually less costly and takes a shorter amount of time to be resolved than a case that goes to court and is ruled upon by a judge.
“Going through a divorce without a settlement can carry a large emotional toll for both parties and their children,” said Thomas D. Bumgardner, Charlotte divorce attorney. “The process can drag on and in the end, neither spouse is in control of their fate. The judge must make the tough decisions and since the judge’s ruling is final, there is no going back.”
Sometimes litigation is necessary, but most experts will agree that an out-of-court settlement is most likely the more amicable solution for those involved. In the video below, Thomas D. Bumgardner explains his stance on out-of-court settlements in divorce cases.
Divorce Settlement Best Practices
An experienced divorce attorney can guide you and your spouse through the settlement process. In many cases, a 50/50 split is not possible. Usually one person has made sacrifices in regards to their career in order to raise children. A lawyer will be able to make educated suggestions based off of what the judge would do if the case was taken to court. This helps both spouses make the best decision in terms of division of property, spousal support and child custody.
North Carolina law allows for each issue to be handled individually and at separate times. For example, a child custody plan could be decided in November and spousal support can be negotiated in February of the following year. This may seem ideal, but it is more beneficial if the settlement is handled all at once. Both parties will save time and money by doing in this way. This method allows a couple to make compromises and trade responsibilities and benefits. For example, the supporting spouse may lower the spousal support payments in exchange for their ownership of a recently purchased vehicle.
Documentation Your Lawyer Needs
In order to provide the smoothest, most fair settlement process for you and your spouse, the lawyer will need documentation to determine a good starting point for negotiations. The following documents and records should be given to your lawyer at the beginning of proceedings.
A List of Marital Assets – Marital assets are items of value obtained as a married couple, regardless of who bought it. This could be vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, stocks, etc.
Documentation of Income – What is the gross income of both spouses? Include any benefits such as pensions or health insurance plans.
Marital Debt – This is debt that is accrued jointly. Show lines of credit, amount owed, amount paid and any other pertinent information regarding your debt.
Tax Returns – Tax returns are useful tools in determining income equality levels. It is best to present tax returns from at least the past three years to provide a scope of long-term contributions from each partner.
Insurance Policies – Life insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance and health insurance are considered marital assets. It is important that the responsibility of payments and receipient of the coverage is outlined in the settlement.
Contact the Right Charlotte Divorce Attorney
Some divorce lawyers look to prolong the separation and divorce process in order to make a bigger profit. Thomas D. Bumgardner, a trusted Charlotte divorce attorney, attempts to settle divorces through mediation. The goal is to settle any property disputes and custody issues through amicable negotiation. When both spouses work together, they can come away with a result that everyone is happy with. Schedule a free consultation today, give us a call – 704.887.4981.