Retaining residence or splitting residence


I am in southeast NC. I was in the process of refinancing a house to get it out of my ex wife’s name. I started the process during an engagement to another woman and was married to her before I finished acquiring the house. I acquired the loan with no help from current wife. It was solely in my name. I have purchased 2 vehicles with my job and credit as so the house. She has long term debt and no good credit, and unable to obtain any type of loans. I had the house before her in my name and my ex wife’s name. I had the house refinanced to only my name with the new wife. I pay everything for the house and for the house. I did everything at the bank in my name only. We the close of the house was done. My wife was allowed to sign the papers at the lawyer’s office. She has NO financial or equitable value in the house other than she pays for the light bill. My question is: Is she entitled to be able to keep the house or get half of the house???


The house may have a dual classification of both separate property and marital property. It would be separate since you acquired the house prior to the date of marriage with your current wife and the source of funds to purchase the house were acquired before the date of marriage to your current wife. It could also be considered marital property if your current wife has worked and contributed financially to the marriage.

If a dual classification and you were to separate from your current wife, your current wife could be entitled to one-half of the value of the principal reduction in the mortgage from the date of marriage to the date of separation plus one-half of the value of any improvements made to the house during the marriage. She would not likely be entitled to keep the house unless you agreed.

Anna Ayscue

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

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