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What Does Equitable Division Mean?

Different Than Equal

When most people think of the word “equitable,” they think of equal. However, in the legal world, equitable and equal are not always the same. This is true in the context of North Carolina’s equitable division process during a divorce. In this blog, we will explore what equitable division means in North Carolina and how it differs from an equal division of assets.

Equitable Vs. Equal Distribution

The terms “equitable” and “equal” are often used interchangeably, but in the context of divorce, they have different meanings. In North Carolina, property is divided equitably, not equally. This means that the court will divide the property fairly between both parties, but it does not necessarily mean that the split will be even.

Factors That Influence Equitable Distribution

There are many factors that the court will consider when determining how to divide the property, including:

  • The length of the marriage

  • The income of both parties

  • Whether either party contributed significantly to the acquisition of any property during the marriage

  • The needs of each party and their ability to meet those needs

  • The health and age of each party

  • Whether either party has a history of domestic violence

The court will also consider any other factor that it believes is relevant to the case, such as if one spouse is spending money on an extramarital affair.

What Property Is Subject to Equitable Distribution?

In North Carolina, all property acquired by either party during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution. This includes:

  • Real estate (e.g., the family home)

  • Personal property (e.g., cars, furniture, jewelry)

  • Retirement accounts

  • Investment accounts

  • Business interests

  • Debt (e.g., credit card debt, mortgages, student loans)

Work with an Attorney for Divorce

Property division can be challenging to work through, especially if you have complex assets. It’s essential to work with an attorney for this process to protect your best interests. At Blood Law, PLLC, our team of attorneys is committed to helping you work through all facets of divorce and come out better on the other side.


Learn more about how we can help with property division in a divorce or schedule a consultation by calling (704) 286-0570 or visiting our website.

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