What is Marital Property?
The term "marital property" refers to nearly all possessions and interests acquired by a couple during the period of their marriage, which becomes relevant only during divorce proceedings. Not all property acquired during marriage is considered "marital" property, though. Certain property, including inheritances and personal gifts, are considered "separate" property. In addition, any property acquired during the marriage with the proceeds of separate property remains separate. So if a couple bought a car with the husband's inheritance and shared that car, it would be considered the husband's separate property after a divorce.
Just a few states recognize the concept of community property, in which everything is jointly owned. In these states, all marital property is divided roughly in half. But a growing number of states uses the concept of "equitable division," in which the assets and needs of each party are considered. For instance, a mother who has physical custody of the children most likely will be granted the house. In a community property state, the house may have to be sold.
Marital Property Law in North Carolina: The Basics
North Carolina marital property laws do not recognize community property, which gives the parties more options for how marital property is divided in a divorce. When dividing property, courts will consider the following factors (not a complete list):
Learn more about North Carolina marital property laws, and marital property in general, below. See FindLaw's Divorce and Property section for more information.
|Community Property Recognized?||No, however Uniform Disposition of Community Property Rights at Death Act adopted (§§31C-1, et seq.)|
|Dower And Curtesy||Dower and curtesy abolished (§29-4)|
Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, either through the enactment of a newly signed statute or through some other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact a North Carolina divorce attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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There are a lot of factors to consider when dividing marital property. If you need help understanding what you are entitled to under North Carolina's marital property laws, then you need to speak to a skilled family law attorney. You can begin with a free initial case review with a North Carolina attorney.
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