While North Carolina is an equitable division state, this doesn’t automatically mean that all assets will be divided equally. The judge will determine what is fair for all parties involved and divide the assets based on that determination. Today we will discuss some of the things a North Carolina judge will take into consideration when deciding how to divide assets during a divorce.
Factors a Judge Will Consider
- Age – The age of both you and your spouse will come into play when it comes to division of the assets. Advanced age of one spouse may entitle them to more of the assets because of the need for funds for living expenses if they’re unable to work.
- Health – Your health and that of your spouse will play a role too. Health issues can make it more difficult to work and there may be medical bills that need to be paid. An equitable, or fair, division of assets would take this into consideration.
- Income – If you’ve been a homemaker for the majority or all of the marriage, the court considers this equal to what the other spouse brought into the marriage in the form of income. The judge looks at what each person has contributed to the marriage and divides the assets based on this.
- Children – The parent that has retained custody of the children is most likely going to be entitled to the family home.
Does Marital Misconduct Come Into Play?
Generally, marital fault or misconduct doesn’t come into play when it comes to division of the assets. Fault or misconduct includes adultery, abuse or abandonment. Some have tried to use these things as grounds for an unequal distribution of the assets. Usually, though, division of the assets will be equitable (or fair) despite these factors. These acts of misconduct do, however, have an impact on alimony payments.
Evaluation of the Assets
After categorizing all of the property and assets into martial assets, divisible and separate property, the judge will then evaluate the assets. This evaluation determines the monetary value of the property. For example, when dividing the value of a home, the judge will not value the home based on its purchase price. Nor will they divide it based on how much is owed on the property. Instead, the judge will subtract what is owed on the property from its current value. Whatever is left over (the net value) will be divided among the spouses.
Other assets, such as collectibles and investments, may be difficult for a judge to determine the true value. When this happens, an appraiser is called in to assist in the valuation process.
There are many things to take into consideration and a family court judge will carefully evaluate all factors before making decisions. To help you understand all of the nuances, talk to one of our divorce attorneys. We’ll help you understand how the law pertains to your case and we’ll work hard to make sure you get exactly what you deserve.