What If I Disagree with How Assets are Separated?

Written by Jonathan Breeden

October 21, 2019

When you get a divorce, all of the assets and debts of the marriage are divided through a process called Equitable Distribution in North Carolina. Asset division is a complex process that has significant implications for your financial future.

Because divorce has so many complex financial components, it’s critical that you protect yourself by working with an experienced North Carolina divorce attorney. Breeden Law Office provides seasoned representation for your divorce asset division. Contact our office now at (919) 661-4970 or use our online contact form.

Types of Property in a Divorce

Both spouses are required to make a complete and thorough financial disclosure of their assets to each other and to the court. The spouses will likely have both separate and marital property.

  • Separate property is property acquired before the marriage or property acquired during the marriage in ways such as through inheritance or gift. Each person in the divorce generally (with some exceptions) keeps their own separate property; it is not divided in the divorce.
  • Marital property is any property earned, bought, obtained, or acquired during the marriage (before the date of separation).Marital property must be divided when the couple divorces.

Division of Marital Property in North Carolina

North Carolina uses an approach called equitable distribution to determine how to divide marital property in a divorce. This means that marital property is divided in a way that is fair, but not necessarily 50/50 or equal. North Carolina General Statutes § 50-20 lists 12 factors the court must weigh when deciding how to divide marital property in a divorce, which include:

  • The income, property, and debts of the couple
  • Whether either party pays support to a prior spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • Ages and mental and physical health of the spouses
  • Whether one of the spouses has custody of children and needs to stay in the marital home because of this
  • Retirement and pension assets of the parties
  • Contributions each spouse made to the education or career of the other
  • Contributions each spouse made that increased the value of the other spouse’s separate property
  • Business interests the spouses may have
  • The tax consequences to each spouse
  • Acts either spouse did that preserved or devalued marital property
  • Any other factors the court thinks is important

Getting a Property Division You Can Live With

When you get a divorce you generally have two options when it comes to dividing property. For the first option, you and your spouse can reach a settlement. This is done with the help of your attorneys, who can provide creative suggestions, options, negotiating points, and thoughtful plans to help you both walk away from the marriage feeling satisfied that your assets were divided in a way that is fair. This gives you the flexibility to divide your property in a way that works for both you and your spouse. Working out a property settlement is key for protecting assets in a divorce.

The other option is to go to trial and let the judge decide how your assets will be divided for you. Your attorney will present a strong case, arguing your point of view. However, it is up to the judge to make the final decision. If you don’t agree with the judge’s decision, you do have the option to appeal if the judge did not apply the law correctly.

How your assets are divided in your divorce has significant long-term implications for your financial health for the rest of your life. Breeden Law Office has years of trial and negotiation experience protecting assets in a divorce and is ready to strongly advocate for you. Call us now to schedule your consultation at (919) 661-4970 or use our online contact form.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden