When parties separate, a common issue is property division. In North Carolina property division is called equitable distribution. A claim for equitable distribution must be filed prior to the entry of a divorce judgment. Property division is a complex procedure, and it is imperative that a party have an attorney to represent him or her on this issue.

The Property Can Be In Either Party’s Name

Once a claim for equitable distribution has been filed, the parties must first classify the property they have accumulated. Marital property and separate property are the two basic classes of property. Martial property is property that was accumulated by the parties during the marriage. This can include homes, cars, boats, furniture, retirement accounts, and the like. The property can be in either party’s name. This also applies to debts acquired during the marriage. Separate property is the second most common class of property. Separate property is property acquired by one party or the other under certain conditions. Separate property could be items received before the marriage or items inherited during the marriage.

Classify Their Property And Debts

Once the parties have determined how to classify their property and debts, a value must then be placed on each item. This may require the simple of act of producing an account statement or it may require getting appraisals on homes or property or even a business appraisal. It is critical to be accurate and thorough in determining these values. In North Carolina, the presumption is that equal is equitable.

Unequal Distribution By One Party Or Another

However, it is a rebuttable presumption and is often challenged for an unequal distribution by one party or another. Some of the most common reasons include: a parent with children living in the home, age of the parties, incomes of the parties, a party’s contribution to help further the education of the other party, or tax consequences to each party. It is important that you have a skilled advocate to effectively navigate the complex waters of equitable distribution. The attorneys at Johnson Law are familiar with these issues and dedicated to serving our clients’ property division interests.

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