Marital or Separate Property?

A good friend of mine’s wife walked out of their marriage 10/1/09. They met in Florida where he owned his own business and home (he never added her name to either), they married 7/29/01. She worked at his business until he sold it in June of 2005 and put his/their home up for sale. They closed on a home in Western NC in February of 2006, the home was purchased outright with the money from the sale of his business and his home that he owned before they met. He has made her a fair settlement offer but she refuses to consider anything but 1/2 of the total value. He had been married twice before and she three times, to my amazement he didn’t have a prenuptial agreement drawn up with either of their track records!

I know that North Carolina and Florida are both Equitable Distribution states, does she have the right to 1/2 or does he have any recourse at all?

Thank you for your consideration of this topic!


If ED is in NC the court will consider the separate nature of the funds as a factor in equitable distribution, however is use of the funds to purchase a martial home will more than likely be considered a “gift to the marriage” and she will be entitled to one half the value of the home in NC.