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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102141
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My wife and I separated 4 years ago. She moved in with a friend

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My wife and I separated 4 years ago. She moved in with a friend and has not contributed anything to the payments ot upkeep of the house since then.

The Deed to the house is in my name only. What is her legal input, if any, as far as selling the house or dividing the estate in a will?

Thanks for your input...regards.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow ups and my replies because I am typing out my answer, or taking a quick break.

Was the home purchased during the marriage, or beforehand, and with only your money or the money from both of you?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The home was purchased with money from both of us during our marriage, but she signed a quit claim deed so the house would not be liable if she made a business mistake. She did home repair without insurance.
Thank you.

Marital property is defined as all property acquired during the marriage and prior to the date of separation in NC. Even real property acquired prior to the marriage or with separate funds which would ordinarily be the separate property of the spouse/ owner is presumed to be a gift to the marriage in most cases. The presumption can be overcome, but it is the burden of the spouse claiming it was not a gift to show that he did not intend for it to be a gift to the marriage. The burden is very high to show that a gift was not his or her intent. The fact that only your name is XXXXX XXXXX title is a start, but your attorney would have to work more on this to prove that this was always intended to be your separate property. Honestly, the Court may still view it as a marital home and thus, marital property.

Therefore, while you technically have the right to control the property, she may attack it during divorce or probate proceedings and claim it as marital property if she wishes to.

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