2024 What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in North Carolina?

Sometimes, marriages go through difficulties or challenges that, unfortunately, cannot be overcome. If you are in a situation with your spouse that is no longer conducive to a healthy marriage, you may be seriously considering a divorce. While the divorce process can be a time of mourning, and an uncomfortable change for a family, it can also be an opportunity for a fresh start in building a more fulfilling life.

If you are starting the divorce process, you may be wondering how much property you or your spouse will get after the divorce is finalized. It can be frightening to think that what you worked so hard to purchase and maintain might not belong to you anymore after the divorce. For this reason, it is important to be knowledgeable about what a wife is entitled to in a North Carolina divorce and how the courts decide this.

How Marital Property Is Divided in North Carolina

A wife in North Carolina could receive part of the divided marital property in a divorce. In this state, the courts divide marital property based on the concept of equitable distribution. Unlike 50-50 states, where the aim is to split the marital property down the middle, North Carolina courts strive to allocate the marital assets and property in a way that they deem to be fair.

When dividing the property, North Carolina courts will take the following factors into account:

  • Whether or not one of the spouses has requested an unequal distribution arrangement that is considered by the judge to be fair
  • The income of each spouse
  • The earning potential of each spouse
  • How much debt each spouse has
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The age and health status of each spouse
  • Tax considerations

While North Carolina follows the equitable distribution principle, it is ultimately up to the judge to decide how the marital property will be divided.

Alimony or Spousal Support

Spousal support, or alimony, is another opportunity that a wife may be given in a divorce. This is a sum of money that is usually paid out monthly to maintain the lifestyle she had during the marriage. It can also allow time for a formerly dependent spouse to find another occupation to support themselves.

When deciding how much alimony a wife will get in a divorce, the courts will take the following into account:

  • How much the wife contributed to the marital property
  • The amount the wife contributed to the other spouse’s education or occupation
  • How long the couple was married
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • How much each spouse has the potential to earn

It’s important to understand that, when determining alimony, the most important factor considered is who the dependent spouse is, not whether they are the husband or wife in a marriage.

Child Support and Child Custody

If the divorcing couple has children, and the dependent spouse is a wife who does not have enough income to support the children during visitation, she will likely be entitled to receive child support. Depending on the court ruling, the wife will either have full or joint custody of the child. This determines the parenting plan and how much decision-making agency she has over the child.

Healthcare Coverage and Retirement Benefits

If the wife in a divorce was on the health insurance plan of the other spouse during the marriage, the court may rule that she is entitled to stay on the plan to keep access to needed healthcare. In addition, if the marriage had a joint retirement plan, such as a 401(k), the courts may grant a percentage of these savings to the wife.

Overall, a wife can be entitled to any joint marital property in a divorce. It can be difficult to understand the decision-making process that the court uses to divide these assets. Therefore, it can be helpful to defer to a knowledgeable divorce lawyer for advice.

FAQs About What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in North Carolina

Does the Wife Get Half in a Divorce in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the courts do not automatically divide the marital property 50-50 between each spouse. This is because they are an equitable distribution state, which means that all marital property will be divided based on what the court decides is fair or equitable. To make this decision, the court will consider many factors, such as income, length of marriage, and earning potential.

What Qualifies a Spouse for Alimony in North Carolina?

A spouse may qualify for spousal support if they are dependent on the income of the other spouse during the marriage. To decide whether and how much alimony the dependent spouse will receive, the court will consider:

  • The existing standard of living for the marriage
  • Contributions that the dependent spouse made to the academic or vocational advancement of the other spouse.

Is a Spouse Entitled to a 401(k) in a Divorce in North Carolina?

In a North Carolina divorce, a 401(k) is considered part of the property that can be divided in a divorce. Therefore, if the court deems it appropriate, a spouse could be entitled to a percentage of the assets in a 401(k). This is significant since it has an impact on the age at which a spouse can retire later.

How Long Do You Have to Be Married to Get Half of a Spouse’s Retirement in North Carolina?

To get half of the retirement savings that are part of the marital property in North Carolina, factors such as the time married, the amount contributed by each spouse, and the earning potential of each spouse will be considered. However, there is no specific amount of time that a couple needs to be married for a spouse to get access to part of their spouse’s retirement savings.

Secure Your Long-Term Financial Support

The divorce team at The Law Offices of Aimee E. Cain has been defending clients like you in court for years. We can make sure that all spouses get access to their fair share of the marital property in a divorce. If you are worried about losing out in your divorce, contact a family lawyer at our law offices today. We can help you make a plan to secure your future.

Do not face the difficulties of divorce alone.
Call (704) 960-4656 or Email us to Schedule a Consultation.