image description

Property Division

One of the most complicated issues when going through a divorce is dividing the property. In North Carolina, the division of property between spouses is called “Equitable Distribution.”  The equitable distribution process is a stressful, emotional undertaking and can leave you feeling like your life has been turned upside down. Who will keep the house? What about my 401(k)? Can I keep my car? These types of questions are undoubtedly running through your head as you deal with your divorce. We will listen to your concerns, and explain all of your options to ensure that you understand the process and that your property rights are protected.

Is my spouse entitled to half of my property that I acquired before the marriage?

No.  Only property acquired during the marriage and prior to the date of separation is subject to equitable distribution.  That also means that certain property may be comprised of both marital and separate property.  For example, you may have a 401(k) that began accumulating prior to your marriage.  In that situation, the value of the 401(k) that accrued prior to the marriage would be considered your “separate” property.

Is the division of property always 50/50?

North Carolina Equitable Distribution law presumes that a couple’s marital property should be divided 50/50, and that such a division is fair and equitable.  Keep in mind that “equitable” doesn’t always mean “equal.”  That being said, the law also enumerates certain factors that may support an unequal division of property in favor of one spouse.

Can I keep my house?

The issue of which spouse gets to keep the marital home is often one of the most emotional issues for couple going through a separation.  There are many factors that should be considered when deciding whether to remain in the home, including you and your spouse’s financial situation, whether there are children involved, and the nature and value of other property jointly owned by you and your spouse.  An attorney can assess whether remaining in the home is a reasonable option for you.