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What will the court consider during my property division suit?

North Carolina is not a community property state. As such, the court will have more leeway in determining an equitable way to divide you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse's marital estate. In making its property division decisions, the court will consider a wide variety of factors.

The considerations made by North Carolina courts will include, but won't be limited to the following issues:

-- You and your spouse's incomes, liabilities and property.

-- Support obligations from prior marriages.

-- How long the marriage lasted, the ages of the spouses, the physical conditions and mental health of the spouses.

-- Whether the parent with child custody needs to stay in the family home.

-- The expectations of both spouses in terms of retirement income and pensions that aren't marital property.

-- Contributions of the spouses to the marriage, either financially or through service as a homemaker.

-- Whether one spouse helped finance the education of the other spouse or assisted in developing his or her career.

-- Contributions made to increase one of the spouse's separate property.

-- Whether certain marital property is liquid or nonliquid and whether it can be divided.

-- The value of businesses owned by the spouses and whether these assets should remain intact.

If you are currently in the throes of a complicated asset division scenario, it's best to discuss your facts and circumstances with an experienced divorce lawyer. Your North Carolina divorce lawyer will know how a court will likely view and decide your case based on the law, prior experience and the unique situation of your family.

Source: FindLaw, "North Carolina marital property laws," accessed May 31, 2017

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