What is Divisible Property in North Carolina?

If you are approaching a divorce in North Carolina, you probably think about property division. This is one of the most important aspects of any divorce, and it may be especially crucial for couples who have high net worths. When spouses have accumulated millions of dollars’ worth of assets throughout their marriage, the process of dividing the wealth can be stressful and time-consuming. On the other hand, spouses with modest fortunes can also struggle with the process of property division, as even the family car or the family pet can be a source of contention.

It often does not help when you encounter strange new terms while you are going through a divorce. Terms like “divisible property” often raise more questions than they answer, making the property division process even more stressful and confusing. Learning as much as possible about the various terms associated with a divorce, including divisible property, makes sense.

Of course, you cannot be expected to learn about every little detail associated with a divorce in North Carolina. After all, you don’t have time to go to law school. This is why it is crucial to enlist the help of a qualified divorce attorney as you approach the end of your marriage. Our legal professionals can help you understand complex phrases and terms that may be a major source of confusion. Not only that, but we can also guide you forward and make sure that you are handling every stage of your divorce in the most effective way possible.

Types of Property in a North Carolina Divorce

North Carolina follows a system of equitable distribution. When couples divorce in the Tar Heel State, their property is first sorted into various categories. Property can only be divided if it falls into certain categories.

  • Separate Property cannot be divided since it belongs to only one spouse. This is property that the spouse has owned prior to the marriage. It may also be property that was inherited during, before, or after the marriage. Finally, a gift may constitute separate property.
  • Marital property is subject to the equitable distribution process since it was accumulated during the marriage. For example, this may be a family home that was purchased during the marriage.
  • Divisible property is accumulated between separation and divorce. Depending on the circumstances, it may be divided between the parties.

If property is divided between spouses, it is not necessarily split in a 50/50 manner. Remember, this is an “equitable” division and not a “fair” division. Judges may consider a number of factors before dividing property. These include the income, debt, age, and health of either spouse. A judge may also consider the tax implications, any financial misconduct committed by either spouse, and many other factors.

Divisible Property Explained

Divisible property is a somewhat obscure category for many spouses, as it is less common for property to be acquired during the “window” between separation and divorce. However, it can be an important consideration for many spouses, especially since the separation process in North Carolina takes one year to complete. Generally speaking, there should not be many changes in the marital estate after the separation, as spouses are discouraged from selling marital property or making significant changes to the family’s wealth. However, spouses often cannot control these changes.

For example, the value of a real estate or company shares might change considerably during this period. Perhaps money earned during the marriage is only “paid out” after the date of separation. As long as the court classifies this property as “divisible,” it can be distributed between spouses. If the court determines that it cannot be defined as divisible, then the standard rules for separate property are followed. However, this separate property may still be viewed as a distribution factor.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We have helped numerous individuals efficiently approach their marriages, and we strive to make the entire process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Although terms like “divisible property” can be confusing, you can feel confident about these details when you can rely on a legal professional for clear explanations. In many cases, you can simply allow your attorney to handle minor details on your behalf. Reach out today, and we can develop an effective action plan together.