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Property Division

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Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets

Experienced Help from Our Raleigh Divorce Attorney

During the process of divorce, it is inevitable that the subject of property division will come up—sometimes as the forefront of conflict in the procedure. As one of the most primary elements of a divorce, understanding the laws and regulations in North Carolina that will govern the division of your marital property can help to make the process smoother for you and your former spouse. At Hopper, Hopper & Mulligan, PLLC , our firm's compassionate and highly knowledgeable Raleigh divorce lawyers can simplify this process and protect your interests every step of the way.

An Overview of Equitable Distribution in North Carolina

In North Carolina, as in several other states, divorce laws pertaining to property division are based on the principle of equitable distribution. In cases where the couple is unable to come to an agreement about how the property is to be divided, the court will abide by the equitable distribution laws of the state.

Once it is brought to the court, equitable distribution consists of three primary steps:

  1. Identifying and distinguishing marital and separate property
  2. Valuating the marital property according to fair market value
  3. Distributing the marital property equitably

Equitable distribution means that a court will try to divide property fairly--not necessarily in a 50/50 split. This involves a division of assets and liabilities that are considered marital property and divisible property.

Separate Property
Separate property is whatever property belonged to you before marriage, and inheritance or gifts you received while married that were for you only--and not for you and your spouse. Whatever is considered separate property is safely yours. Both you and your spouse can reach an agreement on what is a fair division of marital and divisible property, or a court will decide for you. Either in mediation or in a trial, having an experienced Raleigh divorce attorney at your side can help you retain what is rightfully yours.

Marital Property
Usually any property that is earned or amassed during a marriage up to the point of separation is considered marital property. Divisible property refers to some changes in marital property that occur during separation but before distribution.

This can include such things as:

  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Interest payments
  • Increased finance charges

These are things that took effect during separation, but started during marriage. Not every change during separation will become divisible property. If appreciation or dissipation of property occurs from an action taken during separation, this is separate from both marital and divisible property.

Mediation in a Divorce Case

Before a divorce case goes to the courtroom, it will be mandatory for it to undergo mediation. If no agreement can be reached during mediation, the case will then to court where it will be decided according to equitable distribution laws. Having a divorce lawyer guide you through the process from beginning to end can help to increase chances of a favorable agreement in mediation. If no agreement is reached, your Raleigh divorce lawyer will then take the same advocacy to court, where he or she will petition for a fair and equitable outcome.

Find Answers & Get Results with Hopper, Hopper & Mulligan, PLLC

Determining a just division of property can be a complex process, and things get even trickier when labeling certain assets or liabilities as marital or separate property. At Hopper, Hopper & Mulligan, PLLC , we have the knowledge and experience to negotiate a favorable outcome on your behalf and can help you avoid costly court proceedings. For over 20 years, our family law attorneys have been serving the community of Raleigh with all sorts of sensitive matters, and we are prepared to do whatever it takes to help you pursue an amicable solution for your marital separation.

Through our hard work and dedication to the needs of our clients, we have earned numerous awards and accolades, such as being selected for the 2015 Top 100 Family Lawyers in North Carolina by The American Society of Legal Advocates.Whether your settlement is arranged in or out of court, we can help you achieve fair and optimal results. Nobody should have to experience a divorce on their own. Let us carry some of the burden so that you can move forward with peace of mind towards a better future.

If you want accountability and commitment from a compassionate legal representative, contact a Raleigh divorce attorney from Hopper, Hopper & Mulligan, PLLC

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