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Property Division

Charlotte Property Division Attorneys

Helping North Carolina couples move through divorce

When going through a divorce, especially if you and your spouse have been together for a long time, dividing your property and assets can get complicated. Many spouse accumulate a lot of property over the years – like their home, vehicles, art, vacation houses and other valuable items. And often these items are in each other’s names.

However, when a marriage is over, who gets what? Sometimes, divorcing couples are able to work this out for themselves. Property division can be quite simple during an amicable Charlotte divorce. But when the split is not so amicable, or the division is too complex to handle on your own, the family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC can work with you to find a fair solution.

Do I need to go to court for property division?

North Carolina is an “equitable distribution” state. Equitable does not necessarily mean 50/50 – rather it means that court divides property in a way they feel is fair to both parties. There is a presumption that equitable will be 50/50, but that is not always the case.

When a divorcing couple can’t come to agreement on their own over division of property, they can go to court for an equitable distribution order. If they can come to an agreement, they can draft a property settlement, eliminating the need for a judge to decide.

Because distribution and division of property is separate from divorce proceedings, this order can be finalized even before the divorce is official. In some cases, division of property actions may not be finalized until after a divorce is official – but the initial claim must be made before the end of the marriage. Once a divorce agreement is finalized, neither spouse is eligible to make any claim for property.

In a nutshell, you can file for an equitable property distribution claim any time after you and your spouse separate, but not after the finalization of your divorce.

If you feel there’s a threat to your property during your Charlotte separation, you may be able to seek a temporary order to ensure your property isn’t sold or damaged before it’s included in the marital property. Our property division attorneys can provide skilled guidance and help you prepare for any possible circumstances.

What are the three types of property classifications?

Here in Charlotte and throughout North Carolina, the courts classify all of your and your spouse’s property into three different categories when dividing property.

Marital property

This is all the property acquired by either of you from the date of your marriage through the date of your separation (excluding separate property). Marital property typically includes things like money earned by either of you during your marriage, retirement accounts, vehicles, debts, and similar items and assets.

Generally, the court assumes that any property acquired post-marriage but pre-separation is marital property, even if that property or debt is only in one spouse’s name (excluding separate property). This presumption of marital property, however, can always be argued in court by either spouse.

Separate property

Separate property is any property or assets you or your spouse owned before the marriage, or any property given via gift or inheritance to just one of you. It’s also important to note that any business licenses, awards and accreditations belonging to one spouse are considered separate property.

Divisible property

Essentially, divisible property accounts for what happens between the date of separation and the date of property distribution. Any increase or decrease in value of marital property between those dates is subject to division, as is any interest or income received on marital property and similar assets.

Generally, the courts can make decisions on who gets marital and divisible property, but not on any separate property.

How does property division work during a Charlotte divorce?

Depending on the complexities of your divorce and the amount of your property and assets, the property division process could be lengthy and complicated. Our experienced attorneys walk you through every step.

The process of property division can be a lengthy one, and it consists of four main steps:

  • Identification of property. The first step, of course, is identifying the property. This is typically straightforward, cataloging all of the property, regardless of ownership, currently owned by both spouses.
  • Classification of property. Next, the court determines whether property is marital, separate or divisible.
  • Valuation of property. Determining the value of the marital and divisible property is the basis for how the court divides the property equitably. Each spouse’s attorney presents evidence illustrating the fair market value of the property and assets.
  • Division of property. Lastly, the court divides the property between each spouse in an equitable and fair manner. Often, this is 50/50 – but you have the right to argue otherwise in court with the help of your Charlotte divorce attorney.

In the best-case scenario, your divorce is amicable, and you and your spouse can sit down with your attorneys to craft a fair and reasonable property division agreement. But in the event that’s not possible, the court can intervene and make a decision. In either case, our divorce attorneys can protect what’s valuable to you and your family.

Skilled and tenacious Charlotte property division lawyers

With our decades of experience and knowledge of local courts, the family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC help protect your assets as you go through the property division aspect of your divorce. We’ll help you consider all possible impacts of proposed property settlements. You’ll find our offices right off Exit 57 from I-485. To reserve a consultation at one of our offices in Charlotte, Boone, or Weddington, please call 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact form.

 

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