Dear Kingb:

The vital information you have not given us is whether or not the house is titled jointly. If you purchased the house during the marriage and it is titled jointly, the funds you used as a deposit will be deemed to be a gift to the marriage and therefore entirely marital. If the house is titled separately, the down payment remains separate. If it is marital, you can still ask the court to separate this portion out of the marital portion as a distributional factor. Best of luck!

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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.

During our marriage, my parents gave me an inheritance which allowed us to purchase our house. If we enter into a divorce, does this inheritance become part of the joint assets, or is it ‘mine’ from a legal standpoint?