Please note: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

The Legal Representation You Need, The Experience You Can Trust

What is considered marital property in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, you should be informed about relevant terms to avoid costly mistakes. And one of them is “marital property.” 

So, what is considered marital property?

Property subject to division

As the name suggests, marital property is any asset or debt acquired during a marriage by either spouse. However, an asset acquired before marriage may also be subject to division if it increases in value during the marriage. 

Further, property acquired between separation and divorce may also be subject to division. Such property is referred to as divisible property.

Are there exceptions?

Inheritances and gifts each spouse received from a third party during their marriage are not classified as marital property.

How is property divided in the state?

North Carolina is an equitable distribution state, but this does not always mean a 50/50 split. The court typically considers several factors, such as incomes, debts of both parties, the length of the marriage, the contribution of each party to the other’s earning power, age and health, and so on, to decide a fair way to distribute property. This means a divorce case may be subjected to unequal distribution if the court determines equal distribution would not be fair.

Note that the state mostly prefers an equal division of marital property. That’s why a party should actively request an unequal distribution if they want to. Upon receiving the request, a judge will consider the above-mentioned factors to determine the best way forward. A party may also file an equitable distribution claim.

Property division can be complicated, as laws can be applied differently in different circumstances. Consider legal guidance to be informed and, in turn, get what you deserve.