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How Does North Carolina Divide Marital Property?

North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. This means that most judges in the state strive to split marital property in a way that is fair to both parties.

Three Property Classifications

North Carolina uses three property classifications to sort marital property. Once the property is sorted, the judgecan determine which of the assets should be divided and which should be kept as separate.

The property classifications are as follows:

  1. Marital property: This includes all property acquired by the couple during marriage.
  2. Separate property: This is comprised of property owned by either spouse before the marriage, as well as any gifts or inheritances acquired by one spouse.
  3. Divisible property: This is income generated from marital property that either spouse received after separation. It can also include debts or stocks.

The court generally treats divisible property the same as marital property. For example, a judge will begin the division process with the impression that the couple equally shares all divisible property. After the date of separation, the court will treat any changes in property value as separate assets and consider them based on value at the time of the court proceedings.

Equitable Division

A court begins each divorce proceeding with the impression that marital and divisible property should be evenly split. However, each party’s circumstance will influence the share of the assets they eventually receive. For example, if one spouse earns a higher income than the other, they will likely receive less of the marital assets.

Factors a court will consider when dividing assets include each spouse’s:

  • income, property, and debts;
  • support obligations from any previous marriages;
  • age and health;
  • need to continue living in the marital home;
  • pension or retirement benefits;
  • contributions to the marital property;
  • contributions to the other party’s education or career development; and/or
  • tax consequences.

Fault is not taken into consideration during equitable distribution decisions. The only factor the court will consider is the economic impact infidelity may have had on the marital estate.

Protecting Your Best Interests

At Krusch Law, PLLC , our property division attorney can help you protect your assets. Our attorney can offer sound legal guidance as well as assistance in dividing your marital property.

Call our firm at (704) 343-8811 or contact us online to get started!