How much canI expect to give up to my spouse in a divorce?

UPDATED: Aug 1, 2011

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How much canI expect to give up to my spouse in a divorce?

Details on us: Married 6+ years; 4 in NC. No kids. Have a house together (under both names) with barely any equity. A 2nd property under my name is currently for sale and it that has significant equity (I acquired prior to marriage). An IRA under my name (part of a 401k rollover prior to marriage). We both currently work (I make 30% more than spouse). We both have 401k with current employers (I have 50% more in my 401k).

Asked on August 1, 2011 North Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your situation.  Thank you for the information here but an exact number is not anything anyone can give you in this forum.  North Carolina is an equitable distribution state, meaning that assets are divided equitably butnot necessarily equally.  The parties can come to an agreement themselves or the court can order the distribution.  Generally a court first divides the assets in to marital property and separate property.  Property owned before the marriage is generally separate property with some exceptions such as a shown intent for it to become marital property (such as co mingling funds, adding a spouse to a deed).  Inheritance during a marriage is also separate property but again, there can be exception. The court considers the following factors: (A) The income, property, and liabilities of each party at the time the division of property is to become effective. (B) Any obligation for support arising out of a prior marriage. (C) The duration of the marriage and the age and physical and mental health of both parties. (D) The need of a parent with custody of a child or children of the marriage to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects. (E) The expectation of pension, retirement, or other deferred compensation rights that are not marital property. (F) Any equitable claim to, interest in, or direct or indirect contribution made to the acquisition of such marital property by the party not having title (G) Any direct or indirect contribution made by one spouse to help educate or develop the career potential of the other spouse. (H) Any direct contribution to an increase in value of separate property which occurs during the course of the marriage. (I) The liquid or nonliquid character of all marital property and divisible property. (J) The difficulty of evaluating any component asset or any interest in a business, corporation or profession. (K) The tax consequences to each party. (L) Any other factor which the court finds to be just and proper. (North Carolina Statutes - Chapter 50 - Sections: 50-20).  Seek help.  Good luck. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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