Cohabitation & property

Dear justven:

Greetings. If you are not married, then you are not married in NC. We do not have common law marriage in NC. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


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.

I have lived with my s/o for seven years, the last four in North Carolina. The house we share in NC is in his name, but he has repeatedly insisted that it is “ours,” and has re-written his will to include giving the house to me (among other things, obviously).

Two years ago, I stopped working to be at home full-time, and became, pretty much, a “stay-at-home” wife and mom to his three children.

The potential glitch comes now – he’s military, and received orders to another state. I’m at the point of putting my foot down; basically, you want me to “BE” your wife, it’s time to put the buckage where the facial orifice is. And he’s balking. So I may choose a new path for myself, as it were, and not go with him. However, due to the fact that I haven’t worked for the last two years and have put about $25,000 into “Our House” over the last four, is there anything in NC law, based on what I’ve described, that entitles me to any of the equity in the house once he sells it to recoup any of what I put into it? If not under any possible cohabitation statutes (if there are any), can I SUE him to get any of it back, if it comes to that?