Equitable Distribution Summary

Equitable Distribution in North Carolina involves dividing the parties’ marital and divisible assets and debts.  In North Carolina, martial property is defined as any property presently owned and acquired after the date of marriage and prior to the date of separation, regardless of whose name the property or debt is titled.  Divisible property means all appreciation and diminution in marital or divisible property acquired after the date of separation and prior to the date of distribution, or property received after the date of separation but before the date of distribution that was acquired as a result of the efforts of either spouse during the marriage and before the date of separation, such as a bonus for work performance conducted during the marriage or a tax refund.

Generally, property is divided equally among the parties unless the court determines that an equal division is not equitable. There are a number of relevant factors that the court may take into consideration when determining whether or not to award one spouse greater than one-half of the net marital estate.

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