Experienced Property Division Lawyer
When married couples separate property division becomes a major issue. In the state of North Carolina property division is called Equitable Distribution.
That if the parties are unable to mutually agree about the division of assets or debts, then the parties must rely upon the court to decide. A claim for equitable distribution must be filed before the entry of the divorce judgment. The court shall determine what is the marital property and divisible property and shall provide for an equitable distribution of the marital property and divisible property between the parties.
ACCORDING TO THE NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL STATUTES:
Marital property: means all real and personal property acquired by either spouse or both spouses during the course of the marriage.
Separate property: means all real and personal property acquired by a spouse before marriage or acquired by a spouse by devise, descent, or gift during the course of the marriage.
That once the court determines what is equitable and what property shall be distributed to either party, then a distributive award may be made by the court. A ‘distributive award’ means payments that are payable either in a lump sum or over a period of time.
Also, the court can award an unequal distribution of property and/or debt. In order for the court to award an unequal distribution, the court shall consider several factors. Factors can include, but are not limited to:
A. The income, property, and liabilities of each party;
B. Any obligation for support arising out of a prior marriage;
C. The duration of the marriage and the age and physical and mental health of both parties;
D.The need of a parent with custody of a child;
E. The expectation of pension;
F. Any direct or indirect contribution made by one spouse to help educate or develop the career potential of the other spouse;
G. Any direct contribution to an increase in value of separate property;
H.The liquid or no liquid character of all marital property;
I. The difficulty of evaluating any component asset or any interest in a business, corporation or profession;
J. The tax consequences to each party;
K. Acts of either party to maintain the marital property.