When a marriage ends in divorce, property and assets are subject to division. The division of said assets during a divorce can be complicated. To better understand, it is important to know the classifications of property under North Carolina’s legal system.

According to the North Carolina General Assembly, all marital and divisible property undergoes equitable distribution. This means the court splits property based on what is fair. This is not equal distribution. In a divorce, you will have marital property, separate property and divisible property.

What is separate property?

Separate property is the property that you or your spouse acquired before you were married. This can also apply to gifts given to you while married. Now, when it comes to gifts that you receive from your spouse at the time of marriage, this is a little more complicated. If your spouse intended for you and only you to use said gift, then it may be separate property. Now, any income derived from separate property or appreciating from the separate property will remain separate property.

What is marital property?

Marital property includes all the personal and real property that you and your spouse acquired while married. Marital property may include pensions, real estate, income and other assets that the two acquire during the course of the marriage. All property that you acquire before the date of separation may be marital property.

What is divisible property?

Divisible property is marital property that underwent any diminution or appreciation in value. For instance, passive income derived from marital property or assets after the date of separation but before the distribution is divisible property.