North Carolina uses the process of equitable distribution to divide marital property between divorcing spouses. The law presumes that the parties should receive half of the marital assets and debts. The basis of North Carolina’s equitable distribution laws are rooted in the notion that the marriage is a partnership and shared enterprise, where both parties, from the stay-at-home mom to the workaholic husband contribute equally to the marriage. However, under certain circumstances, the law allows for an unequal split of the property in one party’s favor.
The distribution of the parties’ marital and separate property can be handled in a separation agreement, but if that is not an option, a lawsuit for equitable distribution must be filed with the court prior to the entry of the parties’ divorce judgment. Once the equitable distribution action is filed, the court will then assist the parties through the process and ultimately decide who gets what. Contact a skilled Charlotte equitable distribution lawyer to discuss your specific situation in greater detail.
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We receive a lot of phone calls asking whether a party’s “fault” has an impact on his or her divorce. The answer is yes and no. In an action for equitable distribution, the marital fault or misconduct of either party is not relevant in determining the division of assets, unless the misconduct had an economic impact on an asset within the marital estate. You should seek advice of an equitable distribution attorney or Charlotte divorce attorney at Skufca Law, as this subject can become complex.
What’s The Difference Between Marital Property, Divisible Property And Separate Property?
North Carolina categorizes property into three categories — marital, divisible and separate property. Marital property is all real and personal property acquired by either party during the course of marriage and before they separate. Marital property includes all vested and nonvested pensions, retirement plans and accounts, and other deferred compensation rights, including vested and nonvested military pensions. All marital property is subject to equitable distribution.
Separate property, as it sounds, is all of the real and personal property acquired by one of the parties before the date of marriage or by inheritance or gift during the course of the marriage. If a party is going to claim that a certain piece of property was a gift from another individual, then he or she must prove that it was in fact received as a gift, otherwise it may be classified as marital property. Divisible property is the increases and decreases in the value of real and personal property occurring after the date of separation, but before the date of distribution. Divisible property is valued at the date of distribution. However, divisible property is often difficult to classify and is a source of disagreement between the parties.
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If you have questions regarding equitable distribution, contact Skufca Law. Conveniently located in historic South End Charlotte.
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