Appreciation of marital home after separation

Ooh. Interesting question. My inclination would be to say that the asset/debt ratio of the home is frozen as of the date of separation, and should be subject equitable division at that amount. Anything paid afterwards would be an ongoing monetary gift from the STBX.

That’s just a guess, though. I’d be interested to hear what the actual answer would be from Helena.

Generally, the spouse who has paid the mortgage will receive the benefit of any decrease in the principal after the date of separation, however if these payments were made in lieu of alimony then you could make an argument that the reduction is the separate property of the spouse living in the house.

The post separation increase in the value generally belongs to the party that retains the property.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780


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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

In instances of prolonged separation where:

a)there has been significant appreciation in value of the marital home (over $100K) and there has been significant paydown of principal on the mortgage (over $17K) relative to DOS,

b) the estranged spouse who was no longer living in the marital home SOLELY made ALL mortgage, tax, and insurance payments on the marital home in lieu of paying alimony and child support to the spouse who continued to live in the martital home under a temporary notarized, written agreement that was not filed with the Court,


c) neither party has yet filed for divorce or for ED, but intend to do so:

is there any rule of thumb how a judge might split this divisible property given that only one party made payments during the separation, but these payments were in lieu of post-separative support ?