Another challenging part of divorce is determining the division of marital debts and assets. In a perfect world, a couple going through a divorce would decide who got what after separating from one another. Unfortunately, many couples are unable to come to an agreement. In equitable distribution cases, the court divides marital assets and debts.
In North Carolina, the court goes through a number of steps in making determinations in equitable distribution cases. First, the court classifies the type of property. There are three classifications: separate, marital, and divisible. Separate property is property that the court considers to be exclusively owned by one spouse. Marital property is property acquired by the couple during the course of the marriage. Divisible property is marital or separate property in which there has been active or passive appreciation. Active appreciation refers to an increase in value based upon the actions of one or both spouses. Passive appreciation is a change in the value of the property without actions taken from either spouse. After classifying the property, the court determines the division of the property. The presumption is that an equal division of assets and debts is fair. The court may order an unequal division of property based upon multiple factors such as the incomes of the spouses, the earning capacity of the spouses, the ages of the spouses, whether one spouse has the children, and other relevant factors.
At The Lorick Law Office, PLLC, we understand the complexity of equitable distribution cases. We are tenacious advocates ready to handle your case with attention to detail and poise.