If you are going through a divorce, you probably heard that you and your spouse must split up assets acquired during your marriage. This includes real estate, bank accounts, cars, and other property. However, there are some things we don’t think of as our assets because perhaps we do not have access to them yet or for different reasons. Our North Carolina family law attorney can help you determine what assets may be subject to your divorce proceedings.
How Is Marital Property Treated in North Carolina?
North Carolina, like a majority of U.S. states, is an equitable distribution state. Equitable distribution means that marital property is divided between the parties to a divorce case in a fair manner. If the parties cannot decide how to divide their property, a judge makes this decision according to state law. A court’s determination is based on each person’s contributions to the marriage, their ability to earn income, their particular needs going forward, and other factors.
Assets You May Not Realize Have to Be Divided in a Divorce
There are assets that a person may not realize count towards equitable distribution. This is because they are easy to forget about or perhaps don’t seem like an asset because it is not tangible or accessible to you yet. Here are five examples:
- Credit Card Points or Rewards- points and cash rewards you or your spouse may have accrued can be valuable assets. They can translate to vacations, money in your pocket, and much more. If you or your spouse has these, they may have to be split up or allocated to one party.
- Art, antiques, collectibles- if you or your ex collected items during the marriage, such as rare books, coins, art, or collectibles, these are also potentially valuable assets. They will need to be divided equitably.
- Season tickets- perhaps you or your partner have football season tickets or the opera. These are expensive to purchase and typically have a comparable resale value. They can be valuable assets you will have to address in your divorce. Spouses may be able to agree on how to handle them by letting one person keep them and the other receive a credit or perhaps the couple selling them.
- Pensions, retirement accounts, and other future benefits- These are often some of the most challenging assets to divide because of the ever-changing value of investments, uncertainty regarding when they may vest, and more. Sometimes both spouses have their retirement savings, want to keep their own and waive any claim to their spouse’s retirement. However, sometimes only one spouse has this asset, intended to be used for both peoples’ benefit when they were ready to retire. These assets will need to be equitably allocated.
- Pending litigations- perhaps you or your ex had started an employment discrimination or personal injury case before the divorce proceeding. Although the case may not yet be settled and money may be years away, this is a potential asset of the marriage.
Every divorce case is different, and you may have assets that are not covered by these examples. A qualified attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine the possible assets involved.
Consult With an Attorney
If you have questions about whether an asset may be a marital asset in your divorce, contact our office today for a free consultation.