What determines equitable distribution?

This link may help:


Generally, an affair has no bearing on property division, though if marital funds were used to further the affair, that spending may be taken into account by the court in the distribution.

The affair itself may be relevant in the determination of alimony, however. You can read more about that by following this link:


David L. McGuire
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

After 20 years of marriage my husband left me for a woman that he was having an affair with. We have three children, two of which where in college, and another that was a minor and still living at home.

He filed  an action for absolute divorce 1 1/2 years later. The divorce papers have a clause that reads "there are no pending claims or actions for support, alimony or equitable distribution of marital property between the parties."  The action went uncontested and an absolute divorce was granted. 

Now, exactly 7 years and 2 days after our legal separation, approximately 5 1/2 years after our divorce, and around 2 weeks after his 2nd wedding, I have been served with a Special Proceedings Summons petitioning for the house to be sold and the proceeds divided equally.

The deed is in both of our names and I have lived in the house throughout our 20 years together and the 7 years since.
 A business that we started after being married is structured as a sole proprietorship. Business assets, including vehicles and a warehouse, are titled and deeded in his name.
 Throughout the 7 years since splitting , we had a verbal agreement that he would keep the business and I would keep the house. It appears, after receiving the summons, that he doesn't intend to honor his word. 
 Based on: 

1.) The clause, in the petition for an absolute divorce, regarding no pending claims for equitable distribution of marital properties
2.) The divorce was uncontested by me.
3.) The home being deeded jointly
4.) Business assets in his name & business being a Sole Proprietorship
5.) The time frame of 7 years & 2 days after legal seperation

Do I have legal rights to ask for the division of business assets acquired during the course of our marriage ?

Does the court have much leeway in determining what fair equitable distribution is. Can,or does, anything that occured prior to an absolute divorce, have bearing on the courts decision ?

After our seperation, the company I worked for closed and I have had financial hardships. He has continued to prosper, greatly ! He walked out on us and I have strong evidence of his affair