As family lawyers with decades of combined experience, we have seen our share of heated divorces. The end of such a significant relationship is an unfortunate time to also have to resolve child custody, money, and property rights. Speaking with a lawyer and understanding the law can help you make an informed and confident approach during this transformative time in your life.
Dividing Property Equitably
When a marriage ends, each spouse’s property rights are addressed through the process of equitable distribution. Under this system, courts identify, classify, value and distribute marital property. Both spouses are presumed to have contributed in the acquisition of property during the marriage, and the court will equally divide the marital property using the net value of the divisible property. However, if the court determines an equal division is not equitable, the court will consider a variety of factors. Some of the factors include:
- The income, property and liabilities of each spouse.
- The length of the marriage and the age and health of each spouse.
- The difficulty in appraising complex property or business interests.
- The need for a parent with custody of a child to remain in the marital home.
- Contributions of each spouse to the other’s educations, careers, or separate property.
- Actions a spouse has taken to “maintain, preserve, develop, or expand; or to waste, neglect, devalue or convert the marital property.”
In contrast to marital property, property acquired by one spouse before the date of marriage, or as a gift or inheritance during the marriage, is considered separate property when a court divides the property. This separate property remains the sole possession of the person who brought it into the marriage.
The distinction between marital and separate property can be complex and properly classifying property is essential to preserving your property rights. Also, there are intricacies involved in making these distinctions when separate property has been commingled with marital property.
A Lawyer Can Help
If your marriage is ending and you want to resolve property disputes, you should contact an attorney immediately. A lawyer can provide you critical advice to take the necessary steps to protect your property interests. These are important decisions that must be taken quickly. This includes identifying and legally securing property, obtaining temporary orders to protect property from the other spouse, and reaching agreements regarding property while separated awaiting divorce.
Let New Direction Family Law Assist You
If your marriage is at its end, an experienced family lawyer can help you attain your best outcome when it comes to the critical issues of children and property. New Direction Family Law provides high quality family law representation to men and women in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Our lawyers are knowledgeable, compassionate, and effective. Let us serve you. Call New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or visit us online at our website.