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Will you have to sell your belongings in your divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2023 | blog, Family Law |

Facing a divorce is difficult, and the thought of parting with your cherished belongings can add another layer of stress. The distribution of assets is a significant aspect of the divorce process in North Carolina. However, the fate of your possessions is not always as bleak as it might initially seem.

The division of assets is not a simple process. Understanding how it works can help put your mind at ease.

Understanding equitable distribution

North Carolina law follows the principle of equitable distribution. This means the court will divide marital property in a manner that it considers fair, but not necessarily equal. It is important to note that this applies to marital property, which is generally anything you or your spouse acquired during the marriage.

Separate property, which each of you had before the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage, usually remains with the original owner.

Identifying marital and separate property

The first step in the process is to identify which assets qualify as marital property and which are separate property. While you may not have to sell your personal belongings, anything that is marital property is subject to division.

Valuing the property

Once you have identified the marital property, the next step is to assign a monetary value to each item. The court will consider the value of the marital property as a whole, rather than focusing on individual items. This means that you might not have to sell certain belongings if their value can be offset by other assets.

Dividing the property

Factors such as the length of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, the needs of any children and each spouse’s income and earning potential can influence how the court divides the property.

While it is possible that you may need to sell some belongings to achieve a fair distribution, it is not a foregone conclusion. Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to negotiate an agreement that allows you to keep certain assets. The key is to understand the process and the factors the court considers when dividing property in a divorce.