Equitable distribution trials – When a marriage is ending (the two parties are getting a divorce), there are many things to consider. Most of those things involve the logistics and specifics of how life is going to change for the people involved. The method by which things get to the point of moving forward however, involves some legal considerations. One of the main considerations is Equitable Distribution, which is simply the separation of property.
We have written about equitable distribution in the past, but this blog will focus specifically on equitable distribution trials in a court of law. Of course, like all or blogs, this blog is intended to provide some general information and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.
Starting an equitable distribution action
The commencement of an equitable distribution action is the same as starting any other family law action. You file a complaint. In that complaint the plaintiff (the person starting the action) makes certain formal requests to the court and the defendant (the opposing party). Proper service of that complaint is required, or the action can be prevented from moving forward.
How does an equitable distribution action go to trial?
Any family law action can end in one of three ways: 1) a dismissal, when the plaintiff decides to withdraw the action and not move forward; 2) a consent order, when it ends amicably and the parties involved reach an agreement that is signed by a judge and entered into judgement, or 3) a trial, when the parties cannot reach and agreement and the court must decide the outcome of the case.
It is important to note that when the parties cannot come to an agreement and they move forward with a trial, the parties will have to live with whatever the court decides.
Preparing for an equitable distribution trial
Prior to trial, there is a period of information gathering and preparation by both parties, called discovery. In discover, some important things to consider include but are not limited to the following:
- Whether there will be some sort of business valuation involved.
- Categorizing the party’s assets into separate property, marital property, and divisible property
- Adhering to all financial disclosure requirements that are applicable
- Finding out how current property is titled (whose name are things under)
What happens at an equitable distribution trial?
An equitable distribution trial is similar to other trials in family court. Both parties get the opportunity to present evidence through testimony and other means. Both parties get the opportunity to put up their own witnesses and cross examine the opposing witnesses. At the end, the court makes a decisions and issues an order with regard to the specifics of the outcome and what must be adhered to, going forward.
If you want to hire an attorney for an equitable distribution action, contact us. We handle equitable distribution trials and other family law matters in Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding areas.