Equitable distribution refers to the division of marital property in a divorce. The spouses themselves can decide how to divide the marital property between them, but if they cannot agree, it is up to the court to divide the property in an equitable manner.
The Charlotte equitable distribution attorneys at Powers Law Firm PA are happy to represent you in negotiations with your former spouse to come up with a satisfactory property settlement. If the two of you cannot agree and a lawsuit becomes necessary, you will find our lawyers to be aggressive, effective advocates fighting for your rights to a fair and equitable distribution that meets your needs and desires.
Contact us online or by telephone at 704-342-4357 to arrange an initial consultation with a skilled Mecklenburg County Equitable Distribution lawyer.How North Carolina Courts Decide What Constitutes an Equitable Distribution
The court, in a North Carolina divorce, has the power to divide up the couple’s marital property. Marital property is basically defined as all property acquired by either spouse or both spouses, during the course of the marriage, up to the date of separation. All such property is presumed to be marital property unless it meets the definition of separate property. This is a very basic definition, and the actual determination of marital property can be much more complicated.
Similarly, separate property is broadly defined as all property acquired by a spouse, before marriage or during the marriage, as a gift or inheritance to that spouse alone. The determination of separate property can also be quite complex. For instance, if the gift to a spouse came from the other spouse, it is considered marital property, unless it can be clearly shown that the gift was intended to be the recipient’s separate property. If separate property is invested or sold or exchanged for other property, then the proceeds remain separate property. The property must often be traced to its original source when deciding whether it is marital or separate property. It is also important to understand that marital property includes debts, as well as assets.
Once the marital property is identified, it is divided between the spouses in an equitable manner. The starting point is for an equal division of property, but an equal division may not always be equitable, or fair. North Carolina courts look at over a dozen different factors when deciding how to make an equitable distribution of marital property. Some of these factors are:
- Assets and debts of each spouse
- Support obligations from a prior marriage
- Length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Need of a parent with primary custody to stay in the marital home
- Any contribution one spouse made to the other’s education or career during the marriage
- Assets which are difficult to value or which should be left with one spouse, such as an ownership interest in a business
- The tax consequences of selling or liquidating property
- Whether one spouse acted to preserve or develop the propert, or acted to waste or devalue property, after the date of separation
Our Charlotte Family Law attorneys help in the equitable distribution process by assisting a divorcing spouse in negotiating a fair and reasonable property settlement agreement. If an agreement cannot be worked out, we can represent you in an equitable distribution lawsuit. Here, it is vital that every asset and liability be accounted for, properly characterized as marital or separate property, and accurately valued. Our lawyers understand how to locate hidden property and how to engage in complex property valuations, as needed. We are a strong voice for a fair and equitable distribution that meets your needs.Contact Our Charlotte Equitable Distribution Attorneys Today
If you are looking for aggressive representation on equitable distribution issues, we are here to help. Contact the Charlotte equitable distribution attorneys at Powers Law Firm PA immediately, so we can start fighting for you! Call us today at 704-342-4357.