Marriage can be a beautiful thing, divorce not so much! Not only do emotions run high, but arrangements must be worked out regarding the division of property. The right lawyer can help protect your property and work out an agreement that is fair and equitable.
Continuing reading to learn more about what’s involved in a North Carolina property settlement and how to make sure your interests are protected.
What is Equitable Division?
North Carolina is an equitable division state. That means the division of property must fair. To make sure this is the case, the court will evaluate the past efforts and future needs of both spouses and divide property accordingly.
However, the court does not always need to get involved in cases of property division. If a couple can work out an arrangement they think is fair, they can submit a written agreement to the court that will be valid in the eyes of the law.
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What is the Different Between Marital, Divisible, and Separate Property?
Before a court divides your property, it must determine if the property is marital, divisible, or separate.
- Marital property includes all property acquired or earned by either or both parties during the marriage until separation. It can consist of pensions, retirement benefits, and other deferred compensation rights.
- The divisible property includes changes in the value of a marital property that occurs between the date of separation and the time of distribution. It can consist of money or property one or both spouses earned during marriage but didn’t realize until after separation. Examples are a bonus or commission or an interest payment from a bank or stock account. Changes in debt would also fall into this category.
- Separate property is the property you owned before the marriage and any property you gain or lose after separation. It can include property you received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage that was intended for you alone. It can also include property acquired by the exchange of your separate property.
Like a property, debt is also divided among spouses. The process is similar to a judge first deciding if the debt is marital, divisible, or separate. This will be determined based on when it was acquired, who acquired it and how it was used. If it is decided that the debt is not a separate liability of only one spouse, it will be divided equally between the spouses.
What Factors and Considered in the Division of Property?
There are several factors the court will consider when determining how to split the marital and divisible property equitably. These include the following:
- Length of marriage
- Liquidity of marital property
- How each spouse contributed to the marital property
- Who has custody of the children
- Tax consequences
If you had an affair that caused the marriage to dissipate, it would not count against you in the division of property. However, your spouse may receive a larger share of the property if you wasted assets when you carried out your affair or any other act that may have resulted in the dissipation of your marriage.
Marital Misconduct and How it Affects Alimony
Although marital misconduct does not play a role in the division of property, it does affect the amount of alimony that will be paid.
Alimony is defined as a payment one spouse pays another to help them maintain a lifestyle that is close to the one they enjoyed during the marriage. According to North Carolina law, if a spouse had an affair, they will not be eligible for alimony. However, they may have to pay alimony if their spouse requests it.
Exceptions may be made if both parties were guilty of having an affair. In these cases, it is up to the court to decide whether to award alimony or not.
If neither couple was guilty of having an affair, the court will look at other factors to determine whether alimony should be awarded. This includes the spouse’s level of education and whether or not they contributed to the supporting spouse’s earning potential during the marriage.
The court will also determine how much alimony should be paid, how it should be paid, and how long it should be paid. It will consider the dependent spouse’s needs and the supporting spouse’s income.
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Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Property Division Case
If both spouses can agree on a fair division of property, the process can be relatively simple. However, often, there are disagreements and disputes, and things can get complicated and even downright ugly. That’s why it’s best to have a reliable Charlotte Family Law attorney on your side.
If you are going through a divorce and need a reliable Charlotte NC divorce attorney to represent you and help protect your property, the Remington & Dixon team is highly recommended.
Remington & Dixon have extensive experience in the field of family law. They put their clients first offering honest case evaluations, affordable fees, and aggressive representation. They take the legal stress off your hands during this difficult time in your life.
Going through a divorce can be unpleasant. Team up with the right lawyer to make sure your property is protected, and your experience is as stress-free as possible. Call Remington & Dixon to make sure you get the representation you deserve.