Divorce is challenging, especially when marital property is involved. Although you are not required to hire an attorney, divorce lawyers in Charlotte NC can help you avoid errors and making mistakes in your case. Your attorney can help you properly file your property division claim. Divorce lawyers in Charlotte NC are guided by equitable distribution statutes that determine what and how assets are divided among spouses.
What is Equitable Distribution?
North Carolina is recognized as an equitable distribution state. This means that the court will divide your property in a fair way. Before courts distribute property, it is divided into three categories.
Divorce lawyers in Charlotte NC can help you determine how the courts will categorize your property.
- Marital Property is any property acquired during the time of marriage before separation. This property can include items such as retirement benefits and pensions.
- Divisible property refers to marital property that may have changed in value after separation. Any money earned during the marriage but paid after separation is included in this category. However, any change in value due to a spouse’s actions after separation is not included.
- Separate property refers to property individually acquired before marriage or after separation. The exception is if you received property during marriage that was only meant for one spouse such as an inheritance. Separate property will not be distributed during a divorce.
During divorce proceedings, the court divides only the marital and divisible property. The most common types of property divided at divorce are real property like the family home, personal property like jewelry, income, dividends, benefits, and debts. Debts are treated the same as any other property during divorce proceedings. The court will also categorize debt based on when it was acquired, who acquired it, and how it was used. Divorce lawyers in Charlotte NC handling your case will be able to give you a good idea as to how your assets will be divided.
Considerations for Unequal Distribution
The court starts the distribution process with the presumption that the marital and divisible property should be distributed equally. According to the law, there are situations in which equal distribution would be considered unfair. Divorce lawyers in Charlotte NC can help you understand how these situations apply to your case. The Equitable Distribution Act outlines 12 factors that the court must consider in property distribution. Divorce lawyers in Charlotte NC can help determine how these factors apply in your case.
- The income, property, and debts of each spouse at the time of the divorce
- The liquidity of marital property
- Tax consequences to each spouse
- Obligation to pay child support to a child born of a previous marriage or alimony to a former spouse from either spouse
- The length of the marriage and the age and health, physical and mental, of each spouse
- The need of a custodial parent to live in or own the marital home and the household furnishings
- Expectation of non-vested retirement or pension benefits
- The contributions of a party without title to an item of marital property, to the acquisition of that property
- A direct contribution by one spouse to the separate property owned by the other spouse that increases its value
- Contributions or assistance by one spouse to the education or career improvement of the other spouse
- Difficulty in valuing an interest in a business or profession and the economic desirability of retaining this interest, free from claims or interference by the other spouse’
- A spouse protecting, wasting, or neglecting marital property in the period between separation and distribution
Knowing what to expect in a divorce proceeding will lessen the stress of the case. Divorce lawyers in Charlotte NC should be well-versed in equitable distribution of property in a divorce. If you are facing a divorce case, consult knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyers in Charlotte NC. Emblem Legal’s team is prepared to help you successfully navigate through your divorce. When looking for divorce lawyers in Charlotte NC, contact us at Emblem Legal today for a consultation.