The only time you would really need to know about marital property laws in North Carolina is if you and your spouse are heading toward divorce. “Marital property laws in North Carolina refer to nearly all possessions and interests acquired by the couple during the period of their marriage,” says Thomas Bumgardner, attorney with the Bumgardner Law Firm. “However, not all property acquired during marriage applies to marital property laws.”
Separate Property vs. Marital Property
Ok, so let’s take a look at what North Carolina marital law considers to be separate property and not inclusive in the definition of marital law.
Separate Property includes items acquired during marriage like:
- Personal gifts
- Property acquired with proceeds of separate property
“Let’s say that a couple purchased a new mini van with the wife’s inheritance from her mother,” says Bumgardner. “That would be considered the wife’s separate property after a divorce.”
There are a few states, not including North Carolina, that recognize all property within a marriage as jointly owned. This property is divided in half in these states.
North Carolina marital property laws do not recognize property from a marriage as community property.
Factors That are Considered When Dividing Marital Property in North Carolina
“Our North Carolina marital property laws give couples more different opportunities to divide property and interests upon divorce,” says Bumgardner.
- Support obligation that comes from a previous marriage
- The financial situation of both spouses when the divorce becomes final
- The need of one spouse (parent) to occupy the couple’s current home to raise children
- Joint interests in a viable business or corporation
“Needless to say, divorce and marital property can cause stress and add fuel to the fire as couples navigate their divorce settlement,” adds Bumgardner. “We’re here to help the family work their way through the legal ramifications and mitigate emotional issues that can cloud good judgement.”
Please contact Thomas Bumgardner with Ballantyne Legal at (704) 870-4779 for a complimentary consultation on family law and marital property law in North Carolina.