If you are facing a divorce, your property rights are an important component. The assets you and your spouse acquired during your marriage are considered marital property, and they must be divided between you fairly in the event of divorce. The matter of property division in a North Carolina divorce can play a critical role in your financial future, which makes it an excellent idea to work with an experienced North Carolina divorce attorney from the start.
North Carolina takes a three-pronged approach to property division in a divorce.
Separate property means anything either spouse owned prior to marriage and kept separate throughout the marriage. These assets remain the sole property of the original owner. Gifts or inheritances that are received in one spouse’s name alone – over the course of the marriage – are also considered separate property.
Marital property refers to anything you, your spouse, or both of you together come to own as a married couple. Any increase in the value of retirement accounts over the course of your marriage is also considered marital. Marital property is divided equitably in North Carolina, and while this often means that it is distributed evenly between both spouses, there are exceptions to this rule.
In North Carolina, divorcing couples must live separately for at least a year prior to filing, and the assets and debt that are acquired over the course of this separation are considered divisible property. Divisible property is generally divided like marital property, but its value is calculated at the time of the divorce settlement – rather than at the time of separation, the way marital property is.
North Carolina courts take wide-ranging factors into consideration in the division of marital property, including the following:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age and overall health
- Each spouse’s income and separate property
- Either spouse’s support obligations from a prior marriage
- The feasibility of the primary custodial parent remaining in the family home with the children
- The expected value of each spouse’s separate retirement benefits
- The degree to which each spouse contributed to the acquisition of property
- Either spouse’s contribution to the other’s education
- The tax implications of a proposed property division
- Either party’s wasting of or irresponsibility regarding marital assets
- Any additional concerns the court considers relevant.
Consult with an Experienced North Carolina Divorce Attorney Today
The trusted divorce attorneys at Greenwood Law – proudly serving the Winston-Salem area and all of North Carolina – are committed to focusing the full force of their imposing experience in pursuit of your property division case’s best possible resolution. Your case is important to your financial future, and we are standing by to help. To learn more about what we can do for you, please don’t put off reaching out and contacting or calling us at 336-661-8788 today.