Separate property


Dear traderight:

Greetings. The funds which you can trace are separate. If you placed them in a joint account, that alone does not make them marital, but using the funds for debts during the marriage would create a presumption that the funds were intended as a gift to the marriage. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
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.


I recieved proceeds from the sale of my father’s company in 1998. They were put into a joint account because my spouse was already making all of the financial decisions for the family that I just assumed that he would continue. My mother passed on two years ago and my inheritance was also put into the joint account. I never intended for these funds to be joint. I never made any decisions regarding the investment strategies of our accounts and my spouse is just now admitting that we lost almost half of the money during the dot com bust. We are in the process of getting our taxes up to date. We have not filed for the last four years. My question: Is the money separate because it was intended to be separate? Or is it joint because of my spouse making all of the decisions for the last six years?