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Clayton Property Division

Protecting your interests no matter how complex the divorce

I am an experienced family attorney with extensive experience in dividing marital assets, debt and property. North Carolina is an equity distribution state and recognizes that each spouse has an equitable interest in all marital property acquired during the course of the marriage. An equitable division of property does not necessarily mean that both parties receive the same award, however; sometimes one spouse may be awarded more of the assets than the other spouse.

What is marital property?

Determining what constitutes marital property is the first task of the court. Marital property is acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Separate property is acquired before the marriage and includes inherited gifts.  Here are some examples of what the court considers to be marital property:

  • Wages or salary earned during the marriage
  • Money held in a retirement account funded during the marriage
  • Money held in a joint or separate checking or savings account funded during the marriage
  • Homes purchased during the marriage
  • Cars purchased during the marriage
  • Pets purchased during the marriage
  • Credit card debts accumulated during the marriage
  • Gifts between spouses during the marriage
  • Gifts to the marital couple during the marriage

If divorcing spouses can agree about the division of property, then this arrangement will be documented with a separation agreement. If you are unable to agree, it will be necessary for you to go to court.

What the court does in dividing property

A court decides equitable distribution of property in three steps:

  • Identification ― The court determines which property is marital and which is separate.
  • Valuation ― The assignment of a fair market value to each piece of marital property.  Appraisers and other experts may assist in this step of the process. The fair market value is the amount that would be paid by a willing buyer to a willing seller.
  • Distribution ― The court distributes the property equally unless there are factors present in your case which indicate that an equal division would not be equitable.

I can help you retain or receive the assets you are entitled to after your divorce.

Protecting your interests in your North Carolina divorce settlement

When you need an advocate for your interests in divorce, call me at or contact me online to schedule an appointment.