Jeff Marshall is a board certified specialist in Family Law

Property Division Attorney Serving Pittsboro

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Property Division Attorney Serving Pittsboro

If you’re going through a divorce, you should contact Marshall & Taylor PLLC for assistance with property division. Splitting assets during divorce can be a tumultuous and time-consuming process. You need an experienced legal team to represent you and protect your interests.

State law determines how a court rules on property division. Since North Carolina is an equitable distribution state, family courts divide assets in a manner they deem fair for each spouse. That doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split if that’s not what would be most equitable. The judge is responsible for considering various factors before deciding.

Marshall & Taylor PLLC is ready to help you fight for what’s rightfully yours during divorce proceedings. We will evaluate all assets you and your spouse own and create a plan to try to reach your desired outcome. Call us at (919) 833-1040 today for a confidential consultation with a Pittsboro family law attorney.

Table Of Contents

    Types of Property in a North Carolina Divorce

    North Carolina statute § 50-20(b)  defines three types of property in a marriage.

    Marital Property

    Marital property is all real and personal property either spouse acquires while married but before the separation date. This is property they currently own. Common types of marital property include:

    • Real estate
    • Bank accounts
    • Vested and nonvested military pensions under the federal Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act
    • Retirement accounts
    • Motor vehicles
    • Nonvested and vested pensions
    • Deferred compensation rights

    Separate Property

    Separate property is all personal and real property one spouse acquired before marriage or by descent, devise, or gift during the marriage. A gift one spouse gives the other is only separate property if the act of giving the gift includes the intent of it being a gift.

    Common examples of separate property include:

    • Gift received by a third party during the marriage
    • Buying a house before getting married
    • Property acquired during the marriage and only in one spouse’s name and not used to benefit the other spouse
    • Property expressly stated as separate property, such as in a post-nuptial agreement
    • Inheritance before or during the marriage
    • Property acquired with separate assets and the intention of keeping it separate

    Divisible Property

    Divisible property is all real and personal property listed below:

    • Appreciation and diminution in the value of the couple’s divisible and marital property before the date of distribution and after the date of separation except if the diminution or appreciation in value results from a spouse’s post-separation activities or actions
    • Passive increases and decreases in marital debt, financing charges, and interest associated with marital debt
    • All property, property rights, or any portion of property or rights received after the separation date but before the distribution date and acquired by either spouse’s efforts during the marriage but before separation, including bonuses, contractual rights, and commissions
    • Passive income from marital property received after separating, including dividends and interests

    How to Divide Property in North Carolina

    north carolina court dividing property in a divorceThe court will likely rule for equitable distribution unless exceptional circumstances exist. The judge will review all necessary information to determine who should receive each asset.

    You might be able to avoid a judge making decisions about how to divide your property by reaching an agreement with your spouse. If you can negotiate the terms of property division, it could make the next steps more straightforward. Settling with your spouse means you have more control over the outcome.

    If you can’t resolve your disputes about dividing your property, a judge must decide for you. You have no control over what happens if you take your case to court.

    Judges often use the net value of marital and divisible property to determine equal division unless they conclude equal division isn’t equitable. The judge will consider various factors in North Carolina statute § 50-20(c) to make a final decision, including:

    • Each spouse’s age and health
    • The expectation of pension, retirement, or other deferred compensation rights considered to be separate property
    • Property, debts, and income of each person
    • Length of the marriage
    • Trouble evaluating any interest in a business or component asset, corporation, or profession and the economic desirability of possessing an interest or asset and protecting it from a claim or interference by the other spouse
    • Tax consequences for each spouse, including federal and state tax consequences they would have if they sold or liquidated marital and divisible property on the valuation date
    • Any obligations from prior marriages, such as child support or alimony
    • The custodial parent’s need to stay in the marital home with children they share with their spouse
    • Actions either spouse took to maintain, neglect or develop, devalue, preserve, expand, or waste marital or divisible property or both before the distribution date but after separating
    • One spouse’s contributions to the other’s career advancement or education
    • Direct contributions to increase separate property value while married
    • Liquid or nonliquid character of all marital and divisible property
    • Any indirect or direct contribution, equitable claim to, or interest in acquiring marital property by either party without a title, including joint efforts or expenditures and services and contributions, or lack of effort as a homemaker, parent, wage earner, or spouse

    Once the judge reviews these factors, identifies the marital property and separate property, and obtains a value for each asset, they will rule on the distribution.

    Speak to a Dedicated Pittsboro Property Division Attorney Today

    Marshall & Taylor PLLC understands the emotional strain of ending a marriage. Even if you know it’s the right decision, it can upend your life and cause significant stress. You should know that you don’t have to go through this challenging experience alone. We are ready to represent you in divorce proceedings and provide the support you need.

    Our award-winning lawyers have received recognition for our work from Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and Best Divorce Lawyers in Raleigh. We also have a 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo.

    Whether you want to file for divorce or have already started the process, do not hesitate to contact Marshall & Taylor PLLC. Let us handle the complicated task of identifying all separate and marital property and determining how to divide everything. We will protect your rights and remain by your side during this difficult time in your life.

    Call us at (919) 833-1040 today for a confidential consultation.