Fayetteville Property Division Attorneys
Helping You Divide Your Assets in North Carolina
When you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, you will need to divide your property. This can be a difficult and contentious process, especially if you and your spouse have a lot of assets. At Rand & Gregory, our Fayetteville property division lawyers can help you navigate the process and ensure that your rights are protected.
What Is Property Division?
Property division is the process of dividing your assets and debts with your spouse. In North Carolina, property division is based on the principle of equitable distribution. This means that the court will divide your property in a way that is fair, but not necessarily equal.
When dividing your property, the court will consider a variety of factors, including:
- How long you were married
- Your age and health
- Your income and earning capacity
- Your standard of living during the marriage
- Your contributions to the marriage
- Whether you or your spouse committed adultery
- Whether you or your spouse engaged in any criminal behavior
- Whether you or your spouse wasted any marital assets
- Whether you or your spouse engaged in any domestic violence
It is important to note that the court will only divide your marital property. Marital property is any property that you or your spouse acquired during the marriage. This includes your home, your car, your bank accounts, your retirement accounts, and your personal property. It also includes any debts that you or your spouse incurred during the marriage.
The court will not divide your separate property, which includes:
- Any property that you or your spouse acquired before the marriage
- Any property that you or your spouse acquired by gift or inheritance
- Any property that you or your spouse acquired after you separated
If you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide your property, the court will divide it for you. The court will also divide your property if you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide your debts.
Property Division Process in North Carolina
The property division process in North Carolina is governed by equitable distribution laws, emphasizing fairness over a strict 50/50 split. When a married couple decides to divorce, the court strives to divide their marital property in a manner deemed equitable based on various factors.
Firstly, the court identifies marital and separate property. Marital property typically includes assets acquired during the marriage, while separate property consists of items owned before the union or received as gifts or inheritance. North Carolina considers both tangible assets like real estate and intangible assets like pensions.
Key factors influencing property distribution include the duration of the marriage, each spouse's contributions, both financial and non-financial, and their respective economic situations. The court may also consider any misconduct leading to the divorce.
Couples have the option to negotiate a property settlement agreement, allowing them more control over the outcome. If an agreement cannot be reached, the court intervenes, making decisions based on the equitable distribution principle.
Navigating property division in North Carolina requires careful consideration of legal nuances and a thorough understanding of individual circumstances. Seeking the guidance of an experienced family law attorney can provide invaluable assistance in ensuring a fair and just distribution of assets during the divorce process.
Is North Carolina a 50/50 State for Divorce?
North Carolina is not a strict "50/50 state" for divorce when it comes to property division. Instead, the state follows the principle of equitable distribution, which emphasizes fairness rather than an automatic equal split of marital assets.
Equitable distribution means that during a divorce, the court will strive to divide marital property in a manner considered fair and just, taking into account various factors. These factors include the duration of the marriage, each spouse's financial contributions, both monetary and non-monetary, their respective economic circumstances, and any misconduct that may have led to the divorce.
While the goal is fairness, it does not necessarily mean an equal 50/50 split. The court considers the unique aspects of each case to ensure a reasonable and equitable distribution. This approach recognizes that different marriages have different financial dynamics and contributions, and a one-size-fits-all division may not be just in every situation.
Couples in North Carolina have the opportunity to negotiate a property settlement agreement outside of court, giving them more control over the division of assets. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the court will step in to make decisions based on the equitable distribution principle. Seeking guidance from an experienced family law attorney is advisable to navigate the complexities of property division in North Carolina divorces.