Top 10 Things You Should Do Before Filing for Divorce in North Carolina

Another significant consideration in equitable distribution is retirement income, such as IRAs, pension plans and k plans. Often, retirement accounts have money in them that is separate—contributed prior to marriage or after separation—as well as marital—contributed during the marriage. The gains or losses to retirement accounts due to market forces are also divisible between the spouses, and it is important to understand how the law in this area works.

See below for more information about retirement accounts.

Behavior such as adultery, domestic violence, abandonment and alcohol and drug abuse is not relevant in determining equitable division of marital property. Even if a spouse admits to having engaged in any or all of these behaviors, he or she might still be entitled to 50 percent or more of the marital property. Economic behaviors—economic fault—are relevant. For example, if a husband transfers marital property to his mistress immediately before separating from his wife, the law says this is economic fault, and this conduct is considered by the court in deciding on a fair division of property.

Included in the property distribution are retirement plans, pension plans, investments, stocks, bonds, etc.

Common-Law Marriage And Annulments In North Carolina

Property distribution in divorce, including valuing retirement plans, can be extremely complex. There are many different types of plans with different interpretations of the law, requiring documents to be drafted in a specific way, and with different tax consequences. For some plans, orders must be approved by the plan administrator in addition to the court for them to be enforceable.

Because the issues can be complex, it is best to hire an attorney to protect your rights and ensure the documents are properly prepared. The information provided below is a broad overview of different methods by which retirement plans are divided. Contact an attorney at Haas Tharrington, P. A Domestic Relations Order DRO is used for state government plans, such as those covering teachers, state employees and local government retirees.

Is Cohabitation Before Marriage Illegal in NC?

A DRO or QDRO is a court order that instructs the plan administrator to pay an alternate payee—the former spouse—a portion of retirement benefits accrued by the other spouse. Each type of plan has its own guidelines and methods for distributing benefits. Below is a discussion of the various types of plans and the manner in which they distribute benefits between divorcing parties.

The benefit is distributed in monthly payments for either the lifetime of the participant or the alternate payee depending on how the order was written. Examples include any thrift savings plan, profit sharing plan or employee stock ownership plan sponsored by a company, such as a company k plan to which the employee contributed, regardless of whether the company matched the contribution. Equitable distribution is a complex area of law, and it is important to be informed. The experienced family law attorneys of Haas Tharrington, P. Our attorneys specialize in adoption and other family law cases including divorce, child custody, child support, guardianship, and more.

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Divorce Laws in North Carolina | Most Important Things to Know - SmartAsset

What is Common Law marriage? Statutory Marriage State statute explains that North Carolina does not, and never has recognized common law marriage. Are there any exceptions where common law marriage might be recognized in North Carolina? These are: If a couple has Power of Attorney for one another.


  • Which States Recognize Common Law Marriage?.
  • Marriage, History of - North Carolina History Project?
  • FOR UNMARRIED COUPLES;
  • Common Law Marriage in NC.
  • Marriage In NC Represents Legal Bond & Emotional Bond.
  • Property Distribution in North Carolina?

If a couple each has Power of Attorney for the other, this enters them into a contractual relationship which could mean that common law marriage is then recognized. However, there is still a possibility that this could be contested and overruled in court. If a couple moves to North Carolina from a state where common law marriage is recognized, then North Carolina will continue to accept the validity of the marriage.

However, some conditions need to be met: The out of State Common Law Marriage must have been recognized by the state in which the cohabitation existed. How can you divorce someone you are common law married to?

Determining what is equitable

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