The law presumes that contributions of separate property to the marital residence are presumed to be a gift to the marriage, so your wife is entitled to half of the equity in the home. Your payment of her debt will also be considered a gift to the marriage.
With respect to your 401(k) your spouse is entitled to one half of what you saved during the marriage. The decrease in market value during the marriage will be taken into account.
Given the duration of the marriage and the large amount of separate property you invested in the marital estate, you can, and should argue that you should receive more than the typical 50% share of the martial estate. Equitable distribution is presumed to be equitable when the property is split evenly, however in cases like this, it would only seem fair an equitable that you receive back more than half based on the fact that you alone seem to have contributed 100% to the marital estate.
Erin E. Clarey
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
301 McCullough Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 943.0044
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780
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