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Providing Family Law Services in Charlotte, NC

Property & Asset Division

The division of property in a North Carolina divorce can be an incredibly complex process. In an “equitable distribution” state, all assets classified as marital property are subject to a fair split, and ‘equitable’ does not always mean ‘equal.’ The intention is to make the division as fair as possible, but fairness depends on several circumstances.

There are three ways in which assets and debts in a divorce are classified:

Marital Property

All property and liabilities acquired during the marriage are classified as marital unless stated differently in a prenup. Also, gifts between spouses may be considered marital property, too

Separate Property

All assets or debts acquired BEFORE the marriage and any gifts or inheritances bestowed on one spouse by a third party during the marriage are separate property. This type of property will not be divided or shared.

Divisible Property

Property acquired after separation due to acts or accomplishments during the marriage. Examples include bonuses earned during the marriage, but awarded after the spouses separated.

Factors the court takes into account include:

Although the presumption exists that a 50-50 split of marital assets is equitable, North Carolina courts often determine that a more lopsided ratio is equitable.

White eggs in a brown nest labelled with IRA, Pension, 401k and House representing a typical nest egg.
  • Each spouse’s income
  • Length of the marriage
  • Health and age of each spouse
  • Any support obligations from a previous marriage
  • Any contributions made by one spouse to advance the career or education of the other
  • Any retirement benefits or pensions that are not subject to distribution, such as Social Security benefits or military disability payments
  • Tax consequences
  • Other relevant factors

It is important to remember that there is no automatic right to equitable distribution of assets when a couple divorces. The rights must be specifically asserted by one or both parties BEFORE the divorce takes place. If a claim is not pending at the time of the divorce, the equitable distribution may NOT be pursued later. If two parties come to their agreement on marital property division, they are legally permitted to avoid a court-ordered distribution. The couple may draw up a separation or property agreement that distributes assets and debts in a manner that they find acceptable.

How can Easterling Law Help you?

Because divorce can contain a strong element of financial risk, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney advocate for you and safeguard your interests.

At Easterling Family Law, we will work to help you retain the property you are entitled to.

To book your appointment call us at 980-272-1365.