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Raleigh Separate Property Attorneys

All real and personal property acquired before marriage or during premarital cohabitation is separate property. If separate funds are deposited into a joint checking account it will maintain its separate status. However, if payments are made on separate property using marital assets, then the property would be classified as both separate and marital property.

Separate property exchanged for a different piece of property remains separate property, but if the new property is held as tenants by the entireties then it will be marital property. Income derived from separate property remains separate, but if the original separate property is a business or closely-held corporation then it is likely that the income could be both marital and separate. Likewise an increase to the value of separate property because of active appreciation by a spouse’s efforts would make the increase marital while keeping the original piece of separate property separate. Yet, any passive contributors increasing the value of separate property like inflation will cause the increase to remain separate.

If real or personal property is inherited or received by one spouse as a gift before or during the marriage it remains their separate property. However, gifts or inheritance intended for both spouses is marital property. Gifts between spouses during the marriage will also be considered marital property, unless at the time it is conveyed there is an expressed intent that it is to remain separate.

All professional and business licenses or degrees are separate property; however, if one spouse supported the other while they were earning the license or degree, then this can be used as a factor in the division of marital property. Any payment for future disability through social security or by personal injury award pertaining to post separation disability is also separate property.

Dividing property during a separation or divorce can be a complicated process. If you have questions about separate property and how it might affect your assets, contact us today for a confidential consultation. We’re here to help you secure the most during this trying process.