x N. Lawrence Hudspeth III

Equitable Distribution

Equitable Distribution

Equitable distribution is a legal concept that sets out how assets should be divided between divorcing parties. For help with equitable distribution cases, call North Carolina family law attorney Larry Hudspeth at (910) 455-9921.

What exactly is equitable distribution?

The interpretation is not literal. Assets aren’t divided in half between the parting spouses. Instead, equitable distribution implies dividing the property fairly. A spouse can request the court to distribute more than half of the property to him or her based on the determining statutory factors.

According to the concept of equitable distribution, one spouse may end up with more than the other spouse after the divorce what the court considers fair. An imbalance in the parties’ educational achievement and employability is among the factors that could make distribution unequal. Other factors considered here include how much each earns or spends, how much each needs financially, and how old each is.

The forward-looking asset division approach takes into account the financial welfare of the parties after the divorce.

Other factors that inform equitable distribution include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Property and income of each spouse at the time of marriage
  • Age and health of each spouse
  • If alimony is awarded
  • Labor, support, or money contributed by either spouse during marriage
  • Support provided by either spouse to help the other spouse get or increase his or her earning potential
  • Liquidity of the marital assets
  • Impact of the distribution on taxes
  • Other factors considered by the court for fair distribution

Filing for Equitable Distribution

Before a divorce is final, a spouse must file a claim for equitable distribution to ensure that he or she receives a fair distribution of assets. The outcome boils down to the liquidation of the marital estate in a way determined by the Court to be fair.

No matter who filed for the divorce, the asset division process is the same. Further, marital misconduct has little to do with how the assets will be divided, unless gross financial misconduct.

Parties may select their mediator if they can agree on one. A judge will select a mediator if the parties cannot agree on one.

The parties reach an agreement about the division of assets and liabilities if the mediation is successful. Both parties and the mediator will then sign the written contract. After the deal is reached, the mediator notifies the court, and the agreed-on asset division formula becomes enforceable as a court order.

Parts of an Equitable Distribution Affidavit

When requesting equitable distribution, parties often have to bring financial affidavits to the mediation or to a hearing. Your lawyer can help create an equitable distribution affidavit that lists:

  • Marital Property: List of assets you both acquired in the marriage.
  • Separate Property: List of what you consider your separate property
  • Spouse’s Property: List of items that you believe belong to your spouse
  • Debts: List of debts you both incurred during their marriage


After separation and divorce, many people often end up in financial hardship. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to protect your rights to a fair division of marital assets, consulting with an experienced attorney is essential.

Call Larry Hudspeth at (910) 455-9921.