Property Settlement & Equitable Distribution Articles

Frequent Family Law Questions


Property Settlement & Equitable Distribution

One of the major undertakings you will deal with in the course of your divorce is dividing the assets and debts accumulated over the course of your marriage. This process is known in legal circles as property settlement or, statutorily, as Equitable Distribution. It is not uncommon to feel financially vulnerable and overwhelmed when considering how intertwined your marital assets are. You can alleviate much of the anxiety and stress associated with division of your marital property through considered legal advice that educates you as to how your marital assets and debts can be equitably distributed.

Division of your marital property is yet another opportunity you will have to create lasting resolutions in your divorce. Most couples are able to reach agreement on how to split assets and debts of a marriage in a private contract that is enforceable by the court. In those cases where agreement on equitable division of marital assets and debts cannot be reached, North Carolina courts will make the decision for you. It is always in your best interest to resolve these kinds of issues if common ground can be found. In those cases where this is not possible, for whatever reason, our family law attorneys are experienced trial lawyers.

Marital assets and debts are not limited to homes, automobiles and credit cards.

Marital assets and debts also include retirement and investment accounts and even military benefits, in some cases. Traditionally property owned and debts accumulated prior to marriage remain separate property for the purpose of equitable distribution. The state also protects inheritances and individual gifts, ensuring they remain separate from marital property. Careful investigation and planning are required to ensure all the elements of your marital and separate property are considered during the negotiation of your marital property division.

Agreements relative to distribution of property can vary, and they can be creative. There is generally more than one way to consider this process. The family law attorneys at Gum, Hillier & McCroskey can help you explore the options available that meet your goals and protect your interests. In some cases, the advice of a financial expert or tax specialist may be required to ensure that all the available options are considered, especially in the case of complex divorce.

Howard Gum and Patrick McCroskey have worked with hundreds upon hundreds of divorcing spouses through the process of marital property division. They are Board Certified Family Law Legal Specialists.

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