What Kind of Assets Does the Average Divorcing Couple Own in North Carolina?

North Carolina spouses tend to focus on the same basic assets as they approach the property division process during a divorce. Statistics give us a pretty good idea of the various assets held by not only American families generally, but also families in the Tar Heel State. That said, assets held by divorcing spouses may vary depending on a number of factors, including age and income.

Many spouses might not be very knowledgeable about the financial status of their own marital estates. While this might not be much of an issue during marriage, this uncertainty can present issues in the case of a divorce. For example, a stay-at-home parent or homemaker might be completely unaware of how their spouse is investing their income. In the event of a divorce, it suddenly becomes critical to develop a clear picture of these assets. Statistics can give these spouses an idea of what to look for, and the types of assets that their exes are most likely to hold.

Average Net Worth in the United States

The average net worth of each American family is almost $750,000. This means that on average, each divorcing couple in the United States can expect to divide roughly this amount. Keep in mind, however, that some of this net worth may not be divisible during a divorce. Only assets acquired during the marriage can be divided according to North Carolina’s equitable distribution process – while the rest is separate and non-divisible. Separate assets also include inheritance and third-party gifts – even if these were acquired during the marriage.

Age Matters

It is also worth noting that the age of the spouses will play a major role in the overall wealth of the family estate. According to the most recent statistics, an American younger than 35 has a median net worth of just $13,400 and an average net worth of just $76,300. These numbers continue to rise as Americans get older, peaking for those in the 65-74 age range. Those in this age range have a median net worth of over $266,000 and an average net worth of $1,217,000. These statistics decline slightly as Americans pass 75 years of age. What this means is that spouses who pursue divorces within the 65-74 age range can expect to divide property that is orders of magnitude greater than the property of younger divorcing spouses. These senior divorces are often called “gray divorces.”

Types of Assets Held By Families

The United States Census Bureau has determined what type of assets the average American family holds. The most common asset is held by financial institutions, with over 95% of Americans holding cash. The next most common asset is a vehicle, with 82% of Americans holding at least one car. Almost 62% of American families own equity in their homes, and almost 69% own retirement accounts.

All other assets are held by a much lower percentage of Americans, and these assets include stocks, business assets, rental properties, bonds, and crypto. In other words, divorcing spouses are much more likely to hold cash, vehicles, home equity, and retirement accounts.

A Word on Debt

It is worth pointing out that if you only look at asset statistics in the United States, you are missing out on the “bigger picture.” The obvious missing piece is debt, which is something that most American families struggle with today. Recent statistics show that the average debt per consumer in the United States is over $90,000. Consider that the average annual income of each American is just $50,000, and it starts to become clear that some families in North Carolina will be dividing debt and not assets during a divorce. That being said, one should remember that this debt statistic includes mortgage debt – one of the most common types of debt and something that is often viewed as a positive sign that indicates asset ownership.

Where Can I Find an Experienced Divorce Attorney in North Carolina?

Property division can be one of the most complex aspects of a North Carolina divorce – especially if you are not confident about financial issues. Spouses who do not understand the assets held in their marital estate still have every right to obtain the necessary documents and pursue their fair share. Work with Arnold & Smith, PLLC to establish a clear picture of how your marital assets have been invested. With plenty of experience in the realm of property division, our North Carolina divorce attorneys can guide you toward financial security as you end your marriage. Book your consultation today to determine the most appropriate course of legal action.