In North Carolina the legal terminology for the division of the parties’ property is called equitable distribution.  Property is categorized into “marital property”, “separate property” and “divisible property.  Martial property and debt is distributed between the parties is based on the principal of equity.  The courts will distribute the marital property based on some sense of fairness.  It does not always mean that the marital property will be divided equally, but based on the evidence, the court will distribute the property equitably which may result in either an equal or unequal distribution.

  • “Marital property” means all real and personal property acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage and before the date the parties separated.
  • “Separate property” means all real and personal property acquired by a spouse before marriage or acquired by a spouse by devise, descent, or gift during the course of the marriage.
  • “Divisible property” is the category the court uses for marital property that changes its value between the date of separation and distribution. It is property earned during the marriage but did not realized until after the date of separation. For example: interest and or dividend earned from a marital bank and or stock accounts.


Some of the factors the court considers in determine whether the marital property should be distributed unequally are as follows:

  • The income, property, and liabilities of each party.
  • Support obligation arising out of a prior marriage.
  • The duration of the marriage and the age and physical and mental health of both parties.
  • The need of a parent with custody of a child or children of the marriage to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects.
  • The parties’ pension, retirement, or other deferred compensation rights that are not considered marital property.
  • Any equitable claim to, interest in, or direct or indirect contribution made to the acquisition of such marital property by the party not having title, including joint efforts or expenditures and contributions and services, or lack thereof, as a spouse, parent, wage earner or homemaker.
  • Any direct or indirect contribution made by one spouse to help educate or develop the career potential of the other spouse.
  • A party’s direct contribution to the increase in value of the other party’s separate property which occurs during the course of the marriage.
  • The difficulty of evaluating any component asset or any interest in a business, corporation or profession, and the economic desirability of retaining such asset or interest, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.
  • The tax consequences to each party, including those federal and State tax consequences that would have been incurred if the marital and divisible property had been sold or liquidated on the date of valuation.
  • Acts of either party to maintain, preserve, develop, or expand; or to waste, neglect, devalue or convert the marital property or divisible property, or both, during the period after separation of the parties and before the time of distribution.

Throughout the legal process Richardson Tucker Law Firm will thoroughly go through the applicable laws with the clients so they will know what to expect from the courts and to get the best possible result.


The court will calculate the amount of child support a parent shall contribute to a minor child financial needs based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines.  It is a statewide presumptive guidelines formulated by the Conference of Chief District Judges.

The parties’ present gross income is the first factor used to calculate child support and in some instances, deductions and or an increase may include, but not limited to, the cost of health insurance for the child, child support orders for other child(ren), child care and extraordinary expenses of the child.

North Carolina has three versions of the worksheet used to calculate child support.  Worksheet A is used when the primary custodial parent has the child more than 123 overnights per year.  Worksheet B  is used when the parties share custody and the non-custodial parent has the child more than 123 overnights per year and Worksheet C is used when custody is split between the parties and one child lives with one parent and one child lives with the other parent..

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