When couples in North Carolina get divorced, they may experience stress due to fear of the unknown, especially when it relates to their finances. Alleviating that stress to some extent is possible by realistically focusing on what is known about a person’s finances.

The first thing an individual will want to assess is their financial assets. This includes cash, savings and checking accounts, stocks, bonds and real estate. It is good to be aware of the fact that not all assets have the same tax consequences. Consider a situation where a husband keeps his retirement assets that have a value of $150,000 and the wife takes a money market account that has the same value after the divorce. It seems like it is fair because each asset is valued the same. However, the husband will have to pay taxes on the distributions when he retires, but the wife will end up keeping the full amount of the money market account.

Real estate is another area that a divorcing couple will need to examine closely, including timeshares, the marital home, rental properties and vacation properties. The couple will need to determine how the proceeds from selling these properties will be divided. If the property sells for less than what was expected or less that what was left of the mortgage, the debts will need to be divided. It is good to keep in mind that a divorce decree does not terminate a person’s financial obligation to creditors, so joint debts needs to be repaid.

Many questions arise as couples divide assets and debts during the divorce process. An individual may wish to speak with a divorce attorney during this process to get advice on asset valuation, shared accounts and property division laws. The attorney may be able to mediate a dispute if one arises.