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How is asset distribution handled in a divorce?

North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. This means that when you get a divorce, the property acquired during your marriage is considered joint property and distributed equally between you and your spouse, according to the North Carolina State Bar. It does not matter if only one of your names is on the title or if only one of you bought the property.

You are legally bound by the equitable distribution laws, so if you are getting a divorce, your marital assets will be equally divided. There are exceptions, though. If you had a prenuptial agreement, it will be honored as long as it is legally valid. You and your spouse may also come to a private agreement on how to divide your assets. However, if you cannot agree and did not have a prenuptial agreement, then the court will divide your assets. The court’s decision is based on the law and will almost always result in a 50/50 distribution of your assets. In some cases, the court may unequally distribute assets, but this is rare. 

It is important to identify assets as being marital or separate. In general, as long as it was purchased during the marriage, it is marital property. There are situations where this is not true, though. For example, if you were to buy an asset during the marriage using separate property that you had owned before the marriage, you may be able to consider this new asset separate property. Then there are situations where an asset you owned before the marriage becomes marital property. This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.

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