Property Valuation, ED

  1. You can determine the equity by any method you are comfortable with and the two of you agree to. If you were in court, the court would look at the decrease in the principle balance of the mortgage while you were living together, and any increase in the value of the house due to your active efforts The court will also take into account any debt that was created to increase the value. The cost of the repair is not necessarily the value of the repair.

  2. Based on what you describe it does not appear you would owe her post separation support and therefore would not owe funds to help her get set up in an apartment. You should review your facts with an attorney to confirm that this is the case.

  3. See my response to question number 2.

  4. You are not obligated to reimburse her or her family for the cost of the wedding.

  5. You can request to see the credit card statements and only debts incurred for marital purposes are marital debts.

Helena M. Nevicosi
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

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Good afternoon,

My spouse and I separated nearly a year ago after being married for only 11.5 months and are now in the process of beginning mediation to determine the final distribution of assets and liabilities. Most all of the “stuff” that we owned was separated when she moved her things into an apartment, and I feel like that was pretty equitable. She kept the things that she brought into the marriage, I kept the things I brought in, and we split the rest. There were no big issues. With such a short marriage, we hadn’t really had time to accrue many assets.

That said, she is now interested in discussing her claim to equity in the house during the time she lived there as well as some other issues related to debts and assets, so I suppose it will not be as simple a split as I had hoped given the situation.

So, here are my questions in terms of post-separation obligations and the division of other assets and liabilities. I will be meeting with an attorney as we go through this process, but wanted to get some information before hand.

  1. I bought my home many years before we were married and continue to live there. I have always been responsible for the mortgage payment and have always been the sole owner listed on the deed. I have completed a few renovations on the place during that time, including some that occurred before I knew her, some that were completed before she moved in and prior to marriage, others during the marriage. I have paid for most of these via a second mortgage and still owe most of the cost to the bank. So, how do I go about determining the portion of the equity in the home that she is legally entitled to? Is this simply a matter of determining the actual principal paid off during the 11.5 months we were married prior to separating and subtracting the increased debt burden from the second mortgage? does it actually involve an appraisal to determine how much the property has increased in value since i bought it and then that is somehow prorated for the time we were married? Seems confusing.
  2. She has indicated to me that she would like for me to pay for half of the costs of setting up her new apartment after we separated. My understanding is that any debts accrued after the date of separation are considered separate and that I am not obligated to help in this way. She out-earns me by around 7.5% I was also left with a half empty house so I can