Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets

If you and your ex-spouse have not worked out how your property will be divided in a separation agreement, the alternative option is to file a lawsuit and have your property divided by the Court. This process is known as the “Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets.”

In a private separation agreement, you and your ex-spouse may divide your property however you wish. If you do not have a separation agreement or cannot come to an agreement with your ex-spouse, all property owned by you and your ex-spouse will be divided in an equitable split in court. North Carolina generally assumes a 50/50 distribution is fair but a judge will analyze your unique circumstances and determine if an unequal distribution is warranted in your case. There are 12 statutory factors (§ 50-20) which either party may allege to prove they are entitled to an unequal division of assets.

Marital misconduct is not a consideration in the distribution of assets unless it involves economic misconduct. For example, if one of the spouses spent $300,000 of marital funds to purchase a home for a girlfriend or boyfriend, that act can be used as “fault” in the property division since it depleted marital assets.