Family Law + Divorce

How does the court divide assets and debts in divorce?

Family Law + Divorce

The court’s job is make sure that the marital property is divided fairly between you and your spouse. Marital and Divisible property is split when the court decides property division.

The court uses a three step process to evaluate the marital property. The first step is Identification and classification. The court will determine who is the owner of the property (or debt) and then classify the property by determining whether it is separate, marital, or divisible property.

Anything that was owned before the marriage, inherited or specifically gifted to one spouse (even during the marriage) is separate property.

The second step in property division is valuation. The court will decide how much each property was worth on the date of separation and consider that amount when dividing your property.

The third step is distribution. The court is tasked with distributing the marital property equally between you and your spouse. The court presumes an equal division of your marital assets, but North Carolina law allows for an unequal division of assets based on factors we can explain to you.