Property Division and Equitable Distribution

The process in which the marital and divisible property is divided and distributed in North Carolina is called Equitable Distribution. A claim for Equitable Distribution must be filed prior to the Divorce is granted or your rights will be lost forever.

North Carolina law provides that the court shall make an equitable distribution of all marital and divisible property. The court will determine whether an equal division of the property is equitable. In determining whether equal is equitable, the court may consider any of the factors listed below.

North Carolina also requires that the party attend mediation in an attempt to settle the property division claim prior to having a hearing. Most claims are settled prior to having a hearing. In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, the case shall proceed to trial and we will use the factors listed below to argue why the property should or should not be divided equally.

When determining whether equal is equitable, the court may consider any of the following factors:

(1) The income, property, and liabilities of the parties;

(2) Any obligation for support arising out of a prior marriage;

(3) The duration of the marriage and physical and mental health of the parties;

(4) The need of the primary custodian to occupy the home;

(5) The expectation of pension, retirement, or other deferred compensation rights that are not marital property;

(6) Any direct contribution made by one spouse to help educate or develop the career potential of the other spouse;

(7) Any direct contribution to an increase in the value of separate property occurring during the marriage;

(8) Any direct contribution to an increase in value of separate property which occurs during the course of the marriage;

(9) Acts of either party to maintain, preserve, develop, or expand; or to waste, neglect, devalue or convert the marital property or divisible property, or both, during the period after separation of the parties and before the time of distribution;

(10) Any other factor which the court finds to be just and proper;

Relevant Statutes

N.C. Gen. Stat. ยง50 – 20

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