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How is Marital Property Divided in a Divorce?

One of the hardest things to do when you’re getting divorced is dividing your marital property. You spend years, maybe decades, accumulating your marital property. Then, when it comes time to divorce, you’re supposed to just give half of it away to a person you never want to see again. This can be frustrating. It can also be scary. Our Charlotte divorce lawyers meet with clients all the time who want to do whatever they can to hold on to their assets. 

The ironic thing is that many of our clients aren’t concerned about the important stuff. They don’t care so much about the cars and electronics. They care about small, petty things. It gets to the point where they feel like they’re in a battle and they want to win. Our divorce attorneys in Charlotte understand why they would feel this way. And that’s why it’s even more important that you have someone by your side who is objective and can think rationally about these things. 

Here, we’ll discuss how marital property is divided when your divorce is final. We will also briefly explain which marital property is are subject to equitable distribution and which is exempt. (Equitable distribution is just the legal term for dividing up your marital property when you and your spouse call it quits.)

If you’re considering filing for divorce, or are in the middle of one, contact our office. We can schedule a time for you to come in and meet with one of our seasoned Charlotte divorce lawyers.

There are Different Types of Property

Before we get into the details of how your marital property and debts will be divided, it’s important to distinguish between two main types of assets. The big assets, the ones that are worth more than most, are your real property. Real property, as you can probably imagine, refers to houses, condominiums, or vacation homes that you and your spouse own together. 

Sometimes, real property is something you and your spouse purchased together. Other times, this property may be something one of you brought into the marriage. When it comes time to draft your marital settlement agreement, your Charlotte divorce lawyer will have to propose how this real property will be divided.

The other main type of property is called personal property. Essentially, this includes everything but your real estate. Some of the types of personal property that we usually handle in a divorce matter includes the following:

  • Any type of motor vehicle, including cars, SUVs, motorcycles, electric bikes, and boats are all considered personal property.
  • If you and your spouse owned any high-end electronics or computer equipment, it will be considered personal property.
  • You and your spouse may have been art collectors. Any pieces of art purchased together during the marriage will be considered marital personal property.
  • All the other stuff you accumulated during your will be lumped in as personal property for purposes of your marital settlement agreement.

One question you may be asking yourself is where financial assets come into play. Financial assets are in a class all by themselves. This would include anything from retirement accounts to investment accounts. It also includes things like stocks, bonds, dividends, IRAs, and any savings or checking accounts you may have together. All these things will have to be considered when your Charlotte divorce lawyer proposes an equitable distribution of marital property.

Charlotte divorce lawyers

Your Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Will Help You Identify the Marital Property and Debts

When you first meet with your divorce attorney in Charlotte, they’re going to ask you to fill out something called a “case information statement.” This document outlines everything that you own personally and everything you own collectively with your spouse. It will also ask questions about your income, savings, and monthly bills. 

Your lawyers don’t expect you to have specific numbers right off the bat. However, your Charlotte divorce lawyer cannot identify all your marital property and debts on their own. They were not a party to your marriage, so they are not privy to any personal or real property you and your spouse owned. This doesn’t mean they won’t be able to help you identify which types of marital property are yours and which types of marital property are subject to equitable distribution.

Do You Have a Prenuptial Agreement?

One important thing to remember is that if you have a prenuptial agreement, it may significantly impact how your marital property is divided. If the agreement states that both parties leave with whatever they brought into the marriage, then that makes things rather simple for your divorce attorney in Charlotte. All they will have to do is look at any assets and debts accrued between the day you got married and the day you filed for divorce. These are the assets and debts that will need to be divided between you and your spouse. 

The question will be how this marital property is divided and how much each party is entitled to. This is typically the hardest part of your divorce agreement to resolve. It is very rare that we meet with a client who is willing to split everything down the middle. If it were that easy, there wouldn’t be so many divorce attorneys in Charlotte.

Trust that Your Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Will Fight for the Best Outcome

The important thing to remember going into this process is that your Charlotte divorce lawyer has your best interest at heart. Their goal is to determine which assets belong to you, and which assets belong to your spouse. They will also work hard to identify any marital property that your spouse has that they may have shifted or moved once the divorce complaint was filed. 

Finally, your divorce attorney in Charlotte will make sure that you get everything you’re entitled to. They will not back down when your spouse’s attorney threatens to drag the divorce out for years. There’s only so much an attorney can do within the parameters of the divorce laws in North Carolina.

We suggest that you contact our office as soon as you realize that you want to file for divorce. One of our Charlotte divorce lawyers will sit down with you and go over the divorce process. They will also explain how your marital property will likely be divided once a divorce is final. All you have to do is contact our office today and schedule your initial consultation.