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Property Division

NC Property Division Attorneys

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Property division is often one of the largest parts of a divorce case. To divide marital assets and debts, North Carolina uses a method called equitable distribution. “Equitable” means “fair”, so an “equitable distribution” means a fair distribution.

In a marriage, property owned by one or both spouses is categorized one of two ways:

  • Marital property – subject to equitable distribution in a divorce

  • Separate property – not subject to equitable distribution

 

Separate property falls into three categories:

  1. Property owned by one spouse prior to the date of marriage

  2. Inherited property

  3. Property acquired by gift from someone other than one’s spouse

 

North Carolina law assumes that a fair division of marital property is an equal division between the parties (i.e., a 50/50 split) unless an equal division would not be fair for some reason. There are a number of things a judge considers when deciding what a fair division is. An experienced family law attorney can help walk you through this process and explain your rights and options.

If Both Spouses Agree

If both spouses are able to agree on how to division the marital assets and debts, the parties may be able to use a separation agreement. This agreement, or contract, spells out who gets what, and it can cover everything from bank accounts to retirement assets to physical property (like furniture). It can also cover who is responsible for paying off debts such as mortgages or credit cards.

The family law attorneys at McNeil Law Firm can help you draft a separation agreement to protect you and your loved ones.

If the Spouses Cannot Agree

If the parties are not able to agree on how to divide the marital property, then a party can file a court action to have a judge decide who gets what. Before a court hearing is held on property division, some courts require people to have a session with a Family Financial Mediator to try and come to an agreement on how to divide their property. Mediation is often much less expensive than going to trial, and people usually find the resulting settlements much more satisfying.

At McNeil Law Firm, we have decades of combined experience mediating property division issues as well as filing court actions, and we fight hard for our clients throughout the entire process.

If you’re going through a divorce or have issues or questions regarding the property division process, contact us today to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney. We’ll talk with you, answer your questions, and walk you through your rights and options. Give us a call at (919) 803-6778.

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