How is property divided in North Carolina during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Family Law |

When couples decide to end their marriage, one aspect they must address is the division of property. In North Carolina, this process follows specific guidelines to ensure fairness and equity for both parties.

To navigate this process effectively, it helps to know how property gets divided during North Carolina divorce proceedings.

Marital and separate property

The first task is to classify the property as either marital or separate. Marital property includes assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage. This encompasses real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement savings and more. However, property owned before the marriage or inherited or gifted during the marriage is typically considered separate property and is not subject to division.

Equitable distribution

In North Carolina, the principle of equitable distribution guides the division of property during a divorce. This does not always mean that everything will get divided equally. Instead, the court aims for a fair distribution based on various factors, including each spouse’s income, contributions to the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the needs of each party post-divorce.

Other factors

Additional factors the court considers include each spouse’s age and health, any acts of marital misconduct, and the tax consequences of the division. Each of these helps determine the best way to split up the property.

Division of debts

Along with assets, debts acquired during the marriage are also divided equitably. This may include mortgages, credit card debts and loans. For this, the court considers who incurred the debt and for what purpose when determining how to distribute it.

Understanding the process of property division in North Carolina can help divorcing couples approach their proceedings with confidence and clarity.