What Is Equitable Property Division in North Carolina Divorce?

12What Is Equitable Property Division in North Carolina Divorce?

When a couple marries, they do not expect that they will get divorced. Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce. Couples must then divide their property and assets. North Carolina law requires that marital property is divided in an equitable manner in a divorce. This is different from some states that allow for equal distribution. Equitable means that both parties will end up with a fair settlement. An experienced divorce attorney will guide the process and will ensure that you receive a fair distribution.


Marital Property

To understand how to equitably divide your property, you must first make sure you know about marital and divisible property. North Carolina statute defines marital property as “all real and personal property acquired by either spouse or both spouses during the course of the marriage and before the date of separation.” This simply means that property you purchased during the marriage belongs to both spouses. In the event the couple divorces, marital property should be divided in a fair manner between the two.


Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How will the judge divide our property?”


Divisible Property

In addition to marital property, some property may be considered divisible. Divisible property is property that belongs to both parties and is to be divided equitably between parties. While marital property has been obtained during the marriage, divisible property includes assets that were acquired when the couple was separated. Any decrease in value will also be considered in the equitable distribution of assets in divorce. Property is considered divisible when it was obtained or decreased between the date of separation and the divorce.



Separate Property

Property and assets that are deemed separate are not part of the distribution of assets in divorce. Separate property includes anything that either spouse owned on their own, prior to getting married. It also includes gifts and inheritances that either spouse received during the marriage, as long as it was for them alone. Importantly, gifts from one spouse to the other may be considered separate property and therefore are not part of the distribution. Sometimes, couples may disagree about whether some of their assets are separate.


Disputes Regarding Distribution of Property

Disputes between parties are quite common during a divorce. Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine whether property belongs to one or both people. Questions can arise regarding such things as pensions, retirement accounts, and more. When one spouse owned the home prior to getting married, there are some additional considerations you need to make. For instance, if the spouse paid money towards the mortgage during the marriage, they may be considered at least a partial owner. When couples have a prenuptial agreement in place, this will determine the distribution of property in divorce. These issues can become very contentious during the divorce.


Equitable property division is an essential part of divorce in North Carolina. Your divorce attorney will work on your behalf to make sure that you receive the property that you deserve as part of the divorce distribution. Contact our skillful attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to discuss your case today.



The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes four Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.



G.S. 50-20 (ncleg.net)

asset | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)


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