Because the marital estate ‘freezes’ on the date of separation, see Becker v. Becker, 88 NC App 606 (1988), an increase or decrease in the value of marital property occurring after the date of separation, or income received from marital property after the date of separation, is not included in the marital estate. The category of divisible property was created to allow a court to distribute these postseparation assets along with the marital property. If the change in value or the income is classified as divisible, it can be distributed. If it is not divisible property, the court can do nothing more than consider the income or change in value as a distribution factor.
Tag: Equitable distribution; classification; divisible property