Equal distribution for house?

I have a question regarding equal distribution of properties, where me and wife are separated right now. Below is the situation.

Before marriage:
I purchased my house with bank mortgage in 2015.
She purchased her own house from a private party in 2016 with monthly down payments.

We’ve got Married in 2018. After Marriage in 2018:
We decided to sell her house and she move in my house. (Now Marital house).
I had an equity of about 10k in my house.
She had an equity of 15k in her house.
After selling her house, She received a lumpsum money in Check format and deposited into her individual checking account.
We decided to Pay off my house or our current marital home.
I transferred $10k from my individual checking account to her checking account. We combined all the money together (the check that she received after selling her house +10k equity I had +10k additionally I put into her checking account) and pay off the my house (Marital house). The check was made from my name to pay off the mortgage company, since the mortgage of my house(marital house) was only my name. While doing that I put her name on the deed of the house as well. Now we both hold the title or deed of the house.

We’re Separating now.
My question is, the money that she put into the house, is it considered to be comingled for marriage or not.

If I were to keep the house. I need to give her half of the current value for the house, right? or does she gets her money back?


Your house that became the marital residence was transformed from your separate property to marital property when you added her name to the deed to make it jointly owned real property. Therefore, any funds she contributed to that property, would likely be seen as a gift to the marriage and she would not be entitled to a dollar-for-dollar reimbursement.

When separating and going through the equitable distribution process, she would be entitled to one-half of the fair market value (minus the value of any mortgages or marital liens) as of the date of separation.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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