When spouses separate with the intent to divorce, the assets that they have accumulated and the debts that they have created must be distributed. When the parties can agree on how to distribute their assets and debts, their agreement can and should be reduced to a legally enforceable document. Some spouses address these issues in a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement. Others choose to ask the Court to adopt their agreement as an Order of the Court. When spouses agree on how to distribute their assets and debts, it is advisable to reduce their agreement to a legally enforceable format. This will ensure that each spouse understands the property that he or she will receive and the debts that he or she will be obligated to pay.
Where there is disagreement over how to distribute property and debts, either party may apply to the Court for a distribution of assets and liabilities. In North Carolina, there is a presumption that there will be an equal distribution of the marital assets and liabilities. The Court has authority to create an unequal distribution of the marital estate if the Court determines that an unequal distribution is required to achieve equity or fairness to the parties involved.
Property and debt distribution disputes can involve complicated issues of fact and law. For more information regarding the distribution of marital property and debt, please contact us to schedule a consultation.