In North Carolina, under General Statute 50-20(c), “there shall be an equal division by using net value of marital property and net value of divisible property unless the court determines that an equal division is not equitable”. Equal division sounds great but assets can’t just be cut in half and shared equally (you can’t chop a car in two for instance) and based on one spouses particular circumstances and goals, sharing assets equally might not seem fair or in their best interests. Here are some things couples should consider, whether mediating their divorce or working with an attorney:

  1. Are you or your spouse more interested in cash than in other assets?

  2. Will one spouse take less than 50% of his or her share if it is all in cash or other liquid assets?

  3. Is one spouse more interested in future security than in present assets?

  4. Is one spouse willing to wait for a buy-out of his or her share of the house, business or retirement assets? Is he/she looking to be compensated for waiting?

  5. Are the spouses willing to give one spouse more assets than the other to compensate for the larger earnings of one of them now?

  6. Do they want to be “made whole” so they end up where they were at the beginning of the relationship?

  7. Does one party want to be compensated off the top for a contribution they made for the acquisition of property (i.e. a down payment on a house)?

  8. Is there a possibility of hidden assets?

  9. Will one spouse get a large inheritance in the future and was marital spending and saving practiced with the assumption that would happen?

  10. Is one spouse willing to get less than their share to avoid lengthy legal proceedings?

  11. What is the law?