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Wilmington Equitable Distribution Attorney

When parties in Wilmington, North Carolina are seeking a divorce, they must make a claim for property division before the divorce is finalized or they lose the opportunity to have assets and debts split. While couples are encouraged to work together to reach a property division agreement, they are not always able to do so; when this is the case, the court will intervene, and will issue a property division judgment that is based on North Carolina’s equitable distribution laws. Our Wilmington equitable distribution attorney can guide you through the law and how to walk away with a fair outcome.

What Is Equitable Distribution?

Equitable distribution is a way of dividing marital and other divisible property between parties in a divorce in a way that is equitable, but not necessarily equal. There are three types of property that are recognized in the state, two of which are subject to equitable division laws:

Marital Property

Marital property is all property that was acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage, such as a home or a car, even if the property is only in one spouse’s name. Marital property is subject to equitable distribution/division.

Separate Property

Separate property, on the other hand, is that property which was acquired by either spouse prior to marriage, or which was acquired by one spouse by gift or inheritance prior to or during the marriage. Separate property is not subject to division; however, what one spouse does with separate money during the marriage may change the identity of the property to marital.

Divisible Property

Section 50-20 of North Carolina Code also recognizes and defines divisible property, stating that divisible property is that property which is acquired or increases in value after the date of separation and prior to the date of distribution of property, including passive income (interest and dividends) and passive increases and decreases in marital debt.

How Does a Court Determine What Is “Equitable?”

Again, a couple involved in a divorce is encouraged to reach a property division settlement on their own, through mediation and negotiation, without the interference of a court. If a court must become involved due to the couple’s inability to reach an agreement, the court will determine what is equitable after considering numerous factors (NC General Statutes Section 50-20(c)), including:

  • The income, property, and liabilities of each party;
  • Whether an award of spousal support is part of the divorce settlement;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age and physical health of both parties;
  • Pension and retirement benefits of either party that are not marital property;
  • Any equitable claim to marital property held by either spouse;
  • The contributions of one spouse to help the development and success of the other;
  • The character and value of property involved;
  • Tax consequences to each party that would result from a distribution award;
  • Any acts committed by either party that improved or worsened the value of marital property; and
  • Any other factor that is relevant and which the court deems “just and proper.”

Work with a Skilled Wilmington Equitable Distribution Attorney

At the offices of the Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division, our Wilmington equitable distribution attorney provides aggressive representation during negotiations with your spouse, as well as in divorce litigation. We will work hard for you to help you reach the best possible divorce outcome and preserve your right to your full property award. Call our team today to get started.

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Why Choose Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division?

Passion – Our family law attorneys, Justin Moulin and Sarah Gray, are dedicated to helping clients with legal matters involving divorce and family issues in Wilmington, North Carolina. We put clients’ needs first, and we are passionate about helping people through emotionally difficult times.
Experience – When dealing with family legal issues, you need someone with a proven track record. Sarah Gray and Justin Moulin have dedicated their careers to representing families. Sarah has more than 10 years of experience representing clients, while Justin has worked in multiple counties in North Carolina and has focused on custody and child support actions, protective order hearings, alimony claims, property division, and divorce.
Case review – You can have peace of mind when you discuss your needs with us. We will review your circumstances and goals. In this discussion, we can create a plan for you and determine your challenges and opportunities. Fill out our online form to schedule a case evaluation.

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Client Review | Wilmington, NC 28401 | Speaks Family Law
  • I was very pleased with the way that Speaks Family Law handled my case. They worked hard to get the most money that they could. Everyone at the firm was always polite and always answered all of my concerns. I would definitely recommend Speaks Family Law to anyone who needs representation. I always knew that they were there anytime I needed them. A big “Thank you!” goes out to all of the people who are involved with the firm.

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  • “She was amazing, she was able to give me the information I needed and was straight forward about what was possible regarding my son. She has made me feel confident in knowing that father’s have just as much legal rights to kids as moms. If I need legal help regarding anything further I will be contacting her again for sure.”

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  • It was a very helpful experience and I am especially grateful for the way they answered my questions and helped me navigate what would have been a much more difficult situation. I felt that my interests were fought for and taken care of and would hightly recommend anyone who might go through this to be respresented by Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division.

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FAQS About Equitable Distribution

Below are some frequently asked questions about Equitable Distribution:

What is equitable distribution in a divorce?

Equitable distribution is a method of distributing marital property in a divorce. Different states have different property division methods. North Carolina is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the court strives to find an equitable and fair way to divide a divorcing couple’s property without necessarily dividing it 50/50.

Working with an equitable distribution attorney can help you achieve a fair property division while ensuring that your voice is heard during the divorce case.

What are the different types of property in a divorce?

There are three types of property in a divorce case:

  • Marital property: Property either spouse acquired during the marriage
  • Separate property: Property either spouse acquired before the marriage
  • Divisible property: Property either spouse acquired after separation but before the legal distribution of property

Only marital and divisible property are subject to equitable distribution.

Working with an equitable distribution attorney can help you understand which property will be subject to equitable distribution in your divorce.

How does a court determine equitable distribution of property?

Ideally, the court would divide property equally by determining its net value and distributing half of the value to each spouse. However, the court determines whether this method would truly be equitable for each spouse. It considers all of the following factors when determining equitable distribution:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The income and property of each spouse
  • The liquidity of all marital property
  • Financial contributions of one spouse toward the other spouse’s education or career development
  • Any future compensation, such as retirement or pensions
  • Other factors the court deems “just and proper”

How can Wilmington family law attorneys assist with equitable distribution?

While the court will attempt to create a fair distribution of property, “fair” is sometimes open to interpretation. Having a qualified attorney on your side can prove beneficial as you navigate marital division of property and other matters involved in the divorce case.

Your equitable distribution lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your right to certain property. They can also represent you in court as the judge determines equitable distribution.

If you’re looking for the right Wilmington divorce lawyers for the job, we can help. With an all-star cast of dedicated attorneys on our team, we have the skills and commitment to take care of your needs during your divorce.

Contact us today at (910) 769-7339 to schedule a case review.

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