Property Division in North Carolina

Throughout a marriage, spouses typically acquire a wide range of assets, including property, houses, businesses, cars, retirement accounts, and more. In North Carolina, spouses are equally entitled to all property acquired during the marriage under an “equitable distribution” approach. When a couple separates before a divorce, either party may request the court enact equitable distribution of property. In that event, the court will establish the couple’s marital and divisible property, then allow for a fair distribution.

When going through a separation or divorce, determining equitable distribution of property can be one of the most complex and technical parts of the process. Suppose you are experiencing challenging property division roadblocks in your separation or divorce in North Carolina. In that case, it is in your best interests to retain the legal help of an experienced family law attorney. At King Law, our family law attorneys are prepared to advocate for your property division interests, whether in negotiations or court.

What Property Is Subject to Division in a Separation or Divorce in North Carolina?

North Carolina General Statute § 50-20 defines marital property as real and personal property acquired by either or both spouses. That includes anything currently owned that was acquired throughout the marriage and before the date of separation. However, the court can omit few property types from what’s considered marital property subject to division. Those exclusions include property deemed as separate or divisible.

Separate Property

Separate property is categorized as all real and personal property acquired by a spouse prior to the marriage. Additionally, it includes all property acquired by a spouse by bequest, descent, devices, or gifts throughout the marriage.

Divisible Property

Divisible property is identified as all appreciation and diminution in value of the marital and divisible property following the date of separation and before the date of distribution. Note this excludes appreciation or diminution in property value stemming from post-separation measures or activities of a spouse. Divisible property includes:

  1. Property
  2. Property rights
  3. Any portion thereof obtained after the date of separation but before the date of distribution that was acquired as a consequence of either spouse’s endeavor during the marriage and before the date of separation.

Examples of divisible property include:

  • Bonuses
  • Contractual rights
  • Increases and decreases in marital debt, financing charges, and interest related to marital debt
  • Passive income from marital property received after the date of separation, including interest and dividends

Under North Carolina law, the division of property between separating or divorcing spouses will be equal unless the court determines that a 50-50 split is not fair or “equitable.”

What Factors Do Courts Consider When Determining Equitable Distribution of Property?

As a result of North Carolina courts using an equitable distribution approach to property division during a separation or divorce, not all marital property is split 50-50. Instead, the courts will consider several factors to establish what is fair to both parties. Some of these factors include:

  • The earning power of both spouses
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • The health and age of both spouses
  • Tax implications of property division
  • Services as a homemaker, as well as how that might influence future earning capacity

Who bought or maintained the asset, especially in reference to a family business
Nonmarital property, if one spouse owns considerably more than the other spouse

Contact Experienced North Carolina Family Law Attorneys for a Consultation

A savvy and experienced family law attorney can be your strongest ally when it comes to property division in North Carolina. At King Law, our skilled family law attorneys are ready to listen to your concerns and help you move forward with any case of equitable distribution in North Carolina. Our family law attorneys can help you identify what property and debts are marital and the best method to divide them so that it is fair to you.

When you partner with King Law, you’ll receive personalized and responsive legal representation as we work on your behalf to provide you with the most strategic options for resolutions in your property distribution case. Trust your property division case to seasoned, dedicated legal professionals who you can trust.

Contact King Law to consult with an experienced family law attorney about equitable property division in North Carolina. Call us at 888-748-KING (5464) to schedule a consultation.