The Law offices of Arnold & Smith - John Price Carr House
You cannot reason with the unreasonable;
When it is time to fight,

Why the Family Home Is So Hard to Divide in a North Carolina Divorce

There are many aspects of a divorce that can be incredibly challenging for couples in Mooresville. One of the most obvious is simply the emotional turmoil that is associated with this life-changing period. These emotions are so strong that they can become intertwined with virtually every other aspect of your separation, including financial matters. Your family home is more than just a financial asset. Your home is part of your identity, and you might have spent years or even decades making it into more than just a piece of property. Perhaps you have renovated your home over the years with your own two hands. It should come as no surprise that such an important asset is often a major source of contention in North Carolina divorces.

If you want to approach this situation in the most efficient way possible, it makes sense to enlist the help of a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in Iredell County. These legal professionals are well aware of the various challenges that come with dividing a family home in Mooresville. If you employ a skilled attorney, you will stand a much better chance of keeping hold of this asset. At the very least, you can approach this source of conflict in a fair, reasonable manner and receive the share you deserve.

Understanding Whether a Family Home Is Separate or Marital Property

The complexity of dividing a family home depends largely on whether it is defined as marital or separate property. Marital property includes all of the assets you and your spouse accumulated over the course of your marriage, while separate property includes everything you owned prior to the marriage. Inheritance is also considered separate property. If you owned your home prior to the marriage or you purchased it entirely with inheritance funds during the marriage, you can simply ask your spouse to leave.

However, if your home is considered marital property, things can become exponentially more complicated. Your home is marital property whenever you and your spouse are both listed on the deed, which is quite common in North Carolina. In this situation, one spouse usually stays in the home and looks after any children, while the other spouse leaves.

North Carolina’s “Absolute Divorce” Laws

You also need to consider the impact of North Carolina’s divorce laws when approaching this situation. The law clearly states that spouses need to live apart for one year before they can officially proceed with their divorce. This means that even before you consider the process of dividing the family home, one spouse will need to move out. Again, one spouse will usually stay to take care of the children, while the other will live elsewhere.

In North Carolina divorces, courts tend to act in the best interests of the children. This means that when the one-year period is complete, courts are unlikely to force children to move out of the marital home. If the spouse currently residing in that home is also granted primary custody, they will need to stay in the home to look after the children. In this situation, the non-custodial parent may even be forced to continue paying fees related to the family home, including mortgage payments and utility bills.

What Happens When Spouses Cannot Come to an Agreement?

When spouses cannot agree on how their family home should be divided, they may be forced to go to court. This is often the last resort, as spouses will no longer have any control over how their home will be dealt with. The court decides what happens to the property, and often the spouses are ordered to sell the home and split the proceeds.

Unfortunately, selling the family home leads to a whole new set of issues. There are significant costs associated with selling a home, and spouses may have to wait months or even years before seeing a dime from the real estate sale. Throughout this entire period, the spouse who has been forced to live apart from the family home will need to continue paying a range of costs - from realtor fees, mortgage payments, child support, and their own personal living expenses. It is far from an ideal situation.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Divorce Attorney Today

If you have been searching Iredell County for a dependable divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We have a wealth of experience with high-conflict divorces and complex property division in North Carolina. We are also well aware of the potential issues that arise when a family home is subject to equitable distribution in Mooresville. Reach out today, and we can work together to devise an efficient action plan, helping you keep hold of this important asset.