How Are Property And Assets Divided In A Divorce Case In North Carolina?
If you are going through a divorce, the assumption is that courts use an even “50-50” split, but that is not always the case. Instead, the court will divide your assets through the process of equitable distribution. This means that the court will look at what is fair when dividing the assets between you and your spouse.
To do this, the court will look at all of the assets listed in each party’s “equitable distribution affidavit”, which is a signed and sworn statement of all marital assets and their fair market value as of the day of separation.
From there, the court will then hold a hearing to decide whether the parties have submitted accurate financial statements. And if necessary, the court may also appoint experts to assess the fair market value of any homes or vehicles involved.
The court will then determine which property is being distributed to whom and if there is an unequal balance. If one party receives most of the marital assets, the court may order a “distributive award” (a financial award) to the other party to create an equal distribution.
The court could potentially award you more than a fifty-fifty split of assets if you can prove at least one of the twelve statutorily defined reasons why this would be fair. This would be based on factors such as income, earning potential, and health of both parties.
Is The Date Of Separation Important When It Comes To Dividing Property And Assets In North Carolina?
The date of separation can have a significant impact on property division in a divorce. This is because all the assets are valued as of the date of separation.
So, if there was a recent housing market boom, and one spouse separated before the boom, then their share of the increased value of the house would be based on the value at the time of separation rather than the current value.
Is Property Acquired Before Marriage Deemed Separate Property In North Carolina?
There are many ways that property acquired before marriage can be mingled with marital assets, making them marital assets.
For example, if one party puts part of their separate assets, liquid funds, or cash down on a marital home, then the presumption is that those funds would become marital assets as part of the marital home.
How Is Debt Divided In A Divorce Case In North Carolina? Is There A Way I Can Protect Myself From My Spouse’s Debt?
The presumption is that any debt acquired between the parties after the date of marriage is marital debt. However, if there is non-essential debt, such as a credit card that one party bought and put all their non-essential items on (without benefit to the marriage), that debt could be seen as separate property debt.
For example, if a young woman enjoys buying fancy shoes and uses a Macy’s credit card to purchase clothing and shoes, the unsecured debt incurred would be considered separate from her spouse’s debt. Conversely, if a man buys 4-wheelers and dirt bikes using financing like a secured bank loan, that debt would likely be considered marital debt.
Do You Need An Attorney To Help You Negotiate The Division Of Property & Assets When Getting Divorced In North Carolina?
If you and your spouse are separating and can agree on the divorce terms, you may not technically need a lawyer. However, if there are complex issues such as 401(k)s, stocks, bonds, large assets, or if one spouse is a small business owner, the divorce can be more complicated. In these cases, it is undoubtedly best to consult with a divorce attorney to ensure that all legal requirements are met.
When you’re separating from your partner, it can be an emotional and stressful time. Hiring an experienced attorney can always help ensure that you reach a fair and just resolution on all the complex issues involved in your separation. An attorney can help take the burden off of you and make sure that you don’t have to give up everything just to walk away from the situation. If there is any dispute at all, it’s worth it to hire an attorney to protect your interests.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Divorce Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.
For more information on Divorce Cases in North Carolina, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (252) 371-0127 today.