Equitable distribution is a process by which spouses or former spouses ask the court to divide their jointly owned property, which can be marital property, marital debt, divisible property or divisible debt.
As a general rule marital property is presumed to include all presently owned property obtained during a marriage and prior to the date of separation, regardless of which spouse actually acquired it. Divisible property is loosely described as the passive change in the value of marital property between the date of separation and the date the property is divided.
North Carolina law recognizes the "concept of marriage as a partnership, a shared enterprise to which both spouses make valuable contributions, although often in different ways." White v. White, 64 N.C. App. 432 (1938). Therefore, our courts presume that a 50-50 split of the net value of marital and divisible property and debt is a fair distribution. However, under certain circumstances, this presumption can be overcome and an unequal distribution will be awarded that is fair to both parties.
In an equitable distribution matter, the court must identify, classify, evaluate and distribute the marital and divisible property and debt. Equitable distribution is the most complex area of family law and you should meet with an attorney to discuss your particular circumstances.
The Law Offices of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC, is a North Carolina law firm that provides professional and aggressive legal representation to individuals in Hickory throughout neighboring cities in western North Carolina. Our experienced attorneys are here to defend your financial interests, ensuring that you obtain your rightful share.
Dividing Real Estate, Pensions, Credit Card Debts And More
Our law firm assists clients with a broad range of property division issues, including:
- Dividing houses, cars, boats, art collections and other real property
- Splitting up bank accounts, retirement accounts and pensions
- Valuing family businesses
- Dividing debts such as mortgages and credit card bills
- Other concerns about marital property
Remember, if your spouse is already represented by a lawyer, it is reasonable to assume a legal strategy has been or is being developed which does not consider your financial best interests. Your spouse's attorney has an ethical duty to look out for your spouse's interests, not yours. You need to retain someone to fight for you.
Call The Law Offices Of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC
If you have questions about property division in North Carolina, request an initial consultation with one of our lawyers. Call our Hickory office at 828-848-8776 (toll free at 888-321-0494) or send us an email today. $100 for a one hour consultation.