My husband is a retired vet. We have been apart for several years. We have a home that he has never lived in and has always called my home. I had the home built while he was overseas a have paid for the upkeep of the home. My husband agreed to pay his portion of retirement (military states a certain portion goes to spouse if divorce) because children have lived with me. Would my retaining ownership of the home be difficult? I hear that you have to sell whatever you jointly own.

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Equitable distribution can get quite tricky in North Carolina. In general, if a home is purchased during the marriage with marital funds (i.e. not an inheritance or money one spouse possessed prior to the marriage), than it is considered a joint marital asset and would need to be divided equitably (that does not necessarily mean equal division, although 50-50 is the starting point). The pension, to the extent it was earned during the marriage is also a marital asset, but you must determine it's present value. It is possible to offset one marital asset for another - i.e. one spouse keeps the house while the other keeps the pension - but before agreeing to such an arrangement, you must determine what the present value of the pension is. Bottom line - in complex cases like these it would be helpful to meet with an attorney to help you weed all these things out.