When a couple decides to get a divorce, one of the largest issues they are faced with is how to divide their property. In North Carolina, the legal system has a presumption that all property will be divided equally. However, this is not always the case, especially when it comes to certain types of property. As such, what are the different types of property in a divorce?
Classifications of Property
Generally, there are three types of property that a divorcing couple could have: marital, separate, and mixed property.
Typically, martial property is any asset or liability that the divorce couple acquires during and throughout their marriage. This could include: houses, cars, or even debt that the couple incurs. As such, because martial property was acquired jointly, there is a legal presumption of equal division. However, although there is a presumption, both spouses are entitled to present arguments as to why the property should or should not be divided equally.
In North Carolina, separate property is any property or liability that is owned individually by one spouse. Typically, this means any property that one spouse owned or was given through inheritance or gift before being married to the other spouse. As such, separate property is not property that is distributed equally upon divorce. Some examples of separate property are: family heirlooms, debt incurred prior to marriage, or investments purchased prior to marriage. Additionally, if the separate property earns an income during the marriage (investments, properties, businesses, etc.), that income is typically considered to be separate property, even though it was earned during the marriage.
Mixed property is any asset or liability that shares characteristics of both marital property and separate property. Although a bit hard to characterize, a good example would be credit card debt incurred during a marriage by one spouse, but used to buy gifts for another person that the spouse is committing adultery with. As such, mixed property creates issues in a divorce and must be typically identified and disposed of by lawyers and courts.
Minick Law’s experienced Family and Divorce Attorneys are standing by to help answer your questions. Call us today to set up a personalized consultation with one of our Divorce lawyers. After speaking with us, you will know the legal standing of your situation and be in a better place to make an informed decision about what is best for you.
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