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Equitable Distribution

McKnight Law helps separated clients divide their property while divorcing.

Equitable Distribution in Wake County

You and your spouse have likely accumulated a lot of property and assets during your marriage. Now that the marriage is coming to an end, you’ll have to divide the property as part of the divorce settlement. North Carolina uses the law of equitable distribution when dividing property. Instead of simply splitting property down the middle, it considers factors such as income, debt, length of the marriage, and financial actions that have impacted the value of the assets.
Our equitable distribution attorneys can help you divide your property. Once you retain an attorney, you can negotiate with the other party to choose how to distribute the property or litigate the matter in court.
Factors Considered with Equitable Distribution
We will discuss all the factors that can impact how much property you receive from the court. Some factors include:

  • Income and Debt
  • Child support payments from previous relationships or marriages
  • Duration of marriage
  • Health and age of both spouses
  • Actions taken to waste or preserve asset

Types Of Property

The court considers three types of property when dividing assets during divorce proceedings. First, there is separate property. This refers to the property you owned when you entered the marriage, as well as inheritances and gifts from third parties you received during the marriage. Also, separate property includes anything you acquired with your personal funds after separating.

Marital property refers to the property you acquired while married, as long as it isn’t a gift or inheritance. Gifts from one spouse to another count as marital property, though. The only exception is if the gift giver states that it’s separate property.

Divisible property refers to the increases and decreases in the marital property after the separation. In addition, any passive income earned from the marital property after you separate is counted as divisible property. The court will value your divisible property during your divorce trial.

Appraising The Property

Whether you negotiate a settlement with your spouse or have the court split your property based on equitable distribution, you need to have it appraised. In both cases, you’ll use the fair market value to determine the cost of the property. Then, you can divide it accordingly.
We can work directly with professional appraisers to establish the value of the property. We can then provide evidence to prove the value in court, if needed.

Avoid Litigation With A Separation Agreement

If you and your spouse don’t want to be bound by the equitable distribution laws or simply wish to avoid court, your attorney can draft a separation agreement for you. You can divide the property and determine alimony, child support, child custody, and more with the agreement. Many people prefer to go this route because it allows them to avoid a courtroom battle that can lead to unpredictable and sometimes frustrating results. Also, both sides are more likely to be pleased with the outcome when they negotiate.

Motion For Equitable Distribution And Injunctive Relief

Are you concerned that your spouse is converting or destroying marital property to prevent you from receiving an equitable share? If so, you can file a motion for equitable distribution. You can use that to seek injunctive relief to prevent the other party from misusing or destroying assets. It’s important to file this motion quickly before the spouse burns through the assets.

John is absolutely the lawyer you want to represent you if you should (sadly) need a divorce attorney. I interviewed top attorneys in Raleigh and was struck mostly by John’s legit empathy/compassion and his ability to quickly ‘get’ the situation. Fair and reasonable, always responsive. I am thankful to have him representing me and haven’t regretted my decision!

— Jennifer T.

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