To get a fair share of assets in a divorce, you must understand everything you have and what it is worth.
North Carolina law requires you to separate your assets into two categories: separate property and marital property.
It defines separate property as:
- Anything protected via a prenup
- Anything owned by one party before marriage
- Anything received as an inheritance at any point
- Anything received as a gift to one spouse alone
Most other assets are assumed to be marital property, so the burden is on you to clarify what you think is your separate property to avoid it getting divided.
A court will divide the marital property in a way that it considers to be equitable (fair). So, while it is OK to focus on the specific assets you are keen to keep, it is more important to focus on the overall balance of asset distribution. For example, if you want to keep the house and only think about that, you could miss out on other assets that together are worth more than your house.
Smaller assets can soon add up
Let’s say your spouse loves motorcycles. Being a nice person, you are happy to let them keep their collection of machines. If they are a true aficionado, some of those machines may be worth much more than you think. Get an outside assessment to ensure you do not dismiss them as a heap of scrap and cut yourself out of a considerable sum. You can still let your spouse keep them, as long as that is fair in the overall equation once you get something in return.
Property division can be an incredibly complex part of a divorce. Getting legal help is the best way to ensure you come out with a fair settlement.