If my property was sold to me by my father approximately 6 years before our marriage, willmy wifebe given rights to half?

UPDATED: Dec 31, 2011

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If my property was sold to me by my father approximately 6 years before our marriage, willmy wifebe given rights to half?

I have been told no once based on the fact that it was owned before we were married. Then I was told yes she could.

Asked on December 31, 2011 under Family Law, North Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

What you are asking here is how the property will be termed: marital property or separate property.  Generally speaking, property that is yours before you are married is considered separate property and not subject to distribution in a divorce.  However, separate property can become marital property or be deemed quasi-marital property based upon how the parties treated it during the marriage.  If you have established the property as the marital home and/or put your wife's name on the deed that can be seen as an intention to change the status of the property from separate to marital.  Also, if your wife did anything to enhance the value of the property or contributed financially or otherwise to the maintenance or upkeep then an increase in the value for the time you were married could be considered marital property.  Each case turns on the facts.  Good luck.

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