It is important to know how to anticipate how property will be divided during divorce. It can help divorcing couples in North Carolina better prepare for their property division process so they can protect and prioritize their interests.

Property is divided in North Carolina equitably. Property will be divided as fairly as possible between the divorcing couple based on a variety of different factors including:

  • The ages and physical and mental health of both of the spouses;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The income, property and liabilities of each of the spouses;
  • The expectation of retirement or pension income that is not marital property;
  • The liquid and nonliquid nature of the marital property and property subject to the division process;
  • The need for a parent with custody of minor children to remain in the marital home;
  • The direct or indirect contribution made by one spouse to the education or career development of the other spouse;
  • Any direct contribution to the increase in the value of separate property during the course of the marriage;
  • Any support obligations from a prior marriage;
  • The difficulty of evaluating complex assets such as a family business; and
  • Other factors considered relevant.

Only marital property is subject to the property division process. Marital property generally includes property and assets acquired by the couple during the marriage. Marital property is distinguished from separate property which is not subject to the division process and includes property one spouse entered the marriage with, inheritances, gifts and personal injury awards.

The equitable property division process is intended to fairly divide property shared by the spouses, however, it can grow complex at times. As a result, once a couple makes the decision to divorce, they should begin to familiarize themselves with how property division works so they can plan for their property division process.