Every state in the country has its own unique rules related to divorce and family law. From the rules that determine who has custody of your children to the resolution of property division disputes, state law has a major influence on what happens at the end of your marriage.
In North Carolina, judges should do their best to achieve an equitable division of a couple’s property during a divorce. The word equitable may look like the word equal, but the meaning is very different. It means fair or just.
A judge has to split both your resources and financial obligations based on what they believe would be fair. They need to understand your marital circumstances to reach an appropriate solution. What specific information about your marriage could influence what a judge decides is fair when you divorce?
1. Your individual economic circumstances
Your separate property, including assets that you inherited, and your earning potential have a profound impact on what a judge believes would be appropriate for property division purposes.
For example, when one spouse has significant separate property and can therefore easily support themselves after the marriage, a judge may consider that when deciding how to split the marital property.
Earning potential can also be a crucial consideration, as someone who has given up their career to care for the couple’s children could be at a long-term financial disadvantage following the divorce.
2. Your health
A surprising number of divorces are the result of someone having a serious medical issue. If your spouse files for divorce after your diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis, their actions could lead to significant hardship for you. A judge will consider your medical expenses and the effect your condition may have on your earning potential when dividing your property.
3. Your custody arrangements
When you still have minor children at home, your financial circumstances can have a big impact on your children’s lives and their futures. A judge may consider who has more time with the children, along with other custody details, when they decide what to do with a couple’s marital property and their debts.
You need to have a thorough understanding of your financial circumstances and awareness of how North Carolina handles property division matters if you want to secure a reasonable outcome in your upcoming divorce. Learning more about divorce statutes and court precedent can help you as you negotiate property division matters or prepare for your day in family court.