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3 tips for getting your fair share in a divorce settlement

You've been married the majority of your life. You're 50 now, and you married young at 18. Now, your spouse has decided that he wants to move on. Everything you have is shared between you, and you just want to make sure you receive your fair share in the divorce.

You may believe you're entitled to certain things because of how long you've been married, but it can be hard to state exactly what you're entitled to. How can you make sure you get what you want and need?

1. Determine which assets you have and if they are separate or marital property

There may be some assets you have that are separate, even if you've been married for all this time. Anything you brought into the marriage may be separate. Any inheritances you've obtained or separate accounts may be separate as well.

If you have purchased a home together, share accounts or share other items, they are likely shared assets that must be divided in the divorce. Before you can decide how to distribute your assets, make sure to write them all down and to give them a value.

2. Consider negotiations with mediation

The benefit of mediation is that the mediator is familiar with the law. The mediator won't make decisions for you, but he or she can help you understand the implications of any decisions you do make.

Even if you and your spouse get along, choosing mediation can assist in resolving any disputes that do come up and gives you the peace of mind that you understand what you want to do.

3. Follow laws in your state

North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. That means that your assets won't necessarily be split 50/50. Instead, they will be divided in a fair way. Take the time to develop a strong case for why you want what you do from your marriage to make sure you have the best chance of obtaining those assets.

These are a few tips for dividing your assets and getting what you need out of your marriage. With the right education, you can make good choices now that benefit you in the future.

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