Going through a divorce can be a tedious process. Not only will you have to deal with the emotional and mental stress that separation brings, there is also the physical exhaustion of having to go through the entire procedure. 

It isn’t as simple as signing a paper then you and your ex-spouse can go your separate ways. There are many things to consider in divorce. If you have children, you will need to go through child custody and child support proceedings. Then there is also the legal process of dividing assets and property. It is best to retain a family lawyer to help navigate through this trying process.

State law dictates the court’s decision on how assets and property will be divided between the divorcing couple. This means that if both parties are not able to reach an agreement on property division and opt to leave the decision to a judge, the judge then follows the law of the state where divorce is processed.

However, there are two systems states generally follow. One is community property and the other is equitable distribution. 

Community Property

Community property is an alternative system where marital property is divided equally between each spouse. There are only 10 states that conform to the community property system and these are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. However, couples going through a divorce in Alaska, South Dakota, and Tennessee are allowed to go through the community property system given that they meet certain requirements.

Everything that each spouse has earned throughout their marriage and all property bought with their profit is included in the community property. Debts that either spouse has obtained while married is also included. 

Equitable Distribution

Equitable distribution is the system usually followed in property division. It is defined as marital property that is distributed fairly but not necessarily in equal terms. This system is used in 40 states, North Carolina included. 

All assets, profits, personal property, and debts of both spouses are divided fairly by judges of courts in equitable distribution states. It doesn’t always mean that these assets or property are split equally. 

If you are going through a divorce in an equitable distribution state, it is advisable to divide property on your own rather than getting assistance from a court. You may end up with a more favorable outcome. Besides, there is no way of telling how a court will decide to divide property between spouses. Legal proceedings can end up being conflicting and exhausting. To save you from all the trouble and for a better chance to reach a fair agreement, you can always try to negotiate with your spouse. 

Settlement Agreement

All the agreements between a divorcing couple are stated in a divorce settlement agreement. The document will indicate parties involved, date of marriage, date of separation, and the filing date of divorce papers. If the divorcing spouses have children, the document will include the name and age of each child. The reason for the divorce will likewise be stated on the document. 

All agreements will be indicated thereafter, which includes agreement on the distribution of assets, property, and debts; agreement on terms of alimony or spousal maintenance; child custody and support for couples with children; and agreement on how future conflicts will be dealt with.

If you are going through a divorce or planning to file for a divorce and would like to know more about the division of assets and property, Spagnola Law of Greensboro, NC is a top-rated family attorney and can help navigate the process.  Get in touch today to learn how we can help.