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Marital property may not be what you think

Divorce can mean a fresh start in a lot of important ways. It allows people to forge their own paths after a period of time with a partner, and it offers a chance to heal from emotional trauma. In many divorce cases, one spouse may feel the desire to give up some of their possessions just to skip any nasty negotiations or fights.

But marital assets are everyone’s right under North Carolina, and you should not give up your potential claims so easily. For one thing, the emotional cost of standing up for yourself may not be as high as you think if you have legal representation to help protect your interests.

For another thing, you may not realize what you are entitled to share. Many things that people bring to their marriages are not marital property, and those things will often revert to their ownership after divorce. But what about any gifts you received while married? What about the value of properties and assets you had during the marriage? Both of those things may be subject to splitting.

Benefits from current and former employers that were intended for a married couple may also be subject to sharing. This may get complicated because many of these assets cannot be split as they are, so one person may retain the benefits and compensate the other for half of their agreed value.

An attorney can help work out which of your household’s assets are subject to sharing in a divorce. If you are concerned about the emotional cost of the experience, a lawyer can also discuss mediation and other options that reduce conflict.