March 16, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- North Carolina divorce: The equitable distribution of property
Article provided by Caldwell, Helder, Helms & Robison, P.A.
Visit us at http://www.gschh.com
If you are getting divorced, you should understand the property division laws of your particular state. Based on your specific jurisdiction, the distribution of assets could differ immensely from what would likely happen in neighboring states. In North Carolina, divorcing couples are subject to equitable distribution principles.
Under this technique, marital property is divided in a way that is fair. However, the allocation of assets may not be equal. If parties cannot agree through negotiation on how to divide the property, a court will intervene and apply several factors to decide what is equitable, taking into account the contributions of each spouse to the marriage.
It is important to note that North Carolina law presumes that an equal distribution of property is fair, but the judge must analyze the property and couple's particular situation to make a determination of fairness. If a 50-50 split is not fair, an imbalanced distribution might be superior.
The equitable division process begins with the analysis of marital property. Marital property is all property acquired during the course of a marriage. Before the court can divide family assets, it needs to know what property belongs to the marriage and what belongs to each spouse separately. Generally, any new property acquired throughout marriage is marital property.
Ultimately, the court's goal is to make a reasonable distribution of the marital assets. In making this determination, the court considers factors like the following:
-The length of the marriage
-The income, assets and debts of both litigants
-The age and relative health of each spouse
-The potential need of a custodial parent to live in the family home
-The contribution of one spouse to the education or professional development of the other
These are just a few relevant considerations. The analysis is made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the particular circumstances of the family.
Fortunately, those divorcing in North Carolina may personally retain separate property. These items do not need to be divided at the end of a marriage. In most cases, separate property includes the following:
-Anything inherited or received as a personal gift during the union
-Anything owned prior to marriage
-Anything either spouse earned after the date of separation or end of marriage
However, the distinction between marital and separate property can be extremely complex. For instance, if one person brought a business into a marriage and other spouse built and developed the company during the union, such circumstance could alter the property's characterization.
If you are getting divorced in North Carolina, you should ensure that you understand how the state's property division laws affect your wealth after a divorce. To learn more, contact an experienced family law attorney.---
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