Property Division 101

When you get married, you build a life with your spouse, and you essentially become one. Unfortunately, happily ever after isn’t always a promise. Not every marriage works out, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s very common as half of all marriages result in divorce.

Just because divorce is common, doesn’t mean it’s easy. The life you’ve built with your spouse must now be split in half. This presents a major problem in several aspects of your life, namely, your property.

In order to make sure you get your fair share of assets, you need to understand North Carolina’s property division laws. Our Winston Salem divorce attorney is here to guide you through them.

Equitable Distribution

When you get divorced, you will have to separate you and your spouse’s assets. In North Carolina, the law follows an equitable distribution of property, meaning assets are not necessarily divided equally. Instead, the property is distributed fairly between the parties.

However, before these assets can be divided, they must be categorized first. There are three types of property that are considered in a divorce:

  • Marital Property - Any income earned or property acquired during the marriage, including pension plans and retirement benefits.

  • Divisible Property - Changes in the value of the marital property between the time of separation and property division due to receiving bonuses, commissions, and dividends.

  • Separate Property - Assets that were acquired before the marriage or gifts and inheritances received by only one spouse during the marriage. These assets are not subject to property division.

Property and assets must be categorized before they can be divided. Additionally, some property may need to be appraised to determine the value. This is to ensure each party receives a fair share of assets.

How the Court Divides Assets

The court will look at numerous factors to determine what will be a fair share of property for each spouse.

The court will consider the couple’s circumstances when deciding property division settlements, including:

  • Each spouse’s age

  • Each spouse’s income, as well as their earning potential

  • Each spouse’s debts

  • Each spouse’s contributions to their marital property

  • The length of the marriage

  • Liquidity of the couple’s property

Dividing property is often one of the most contentious aspects of divorce. Having a North Carolina divorce lawyer assist you with the process can help make sure you receive a fair share of assets. The attorneys at Payne & Associates have extensive knowledge of the state’s property division laws and will look out for your best interests.

If you have questions about property division or your divorce, call Payne & Associates today at (336) 585-8454.