Legal Question in Family Law in North Carolina

Marriage and Property

I am about to get married and I was under the impression that when you get married that all property becomes joint property. I understood this to also include a house and the land it is on. Regardless who owned it before or who's name is on the deed. Is this true and how does it really work?

Asked on 1/09/02, 9:00 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Kirby Law Offices of John M. Kirby
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Re: Marriage and Property

Not true. That's a common mis-perception. The property (or debt too!) that you bring to the marriage is yours alone, assuming that you do not transfer it to your spouse, or change the title in the house to reflect a "tenancy by the entirety." The marital property is, loosely defined, that property "earned" during the marriage; primarily this would be your and your spouse's wage or salary. Some property gets more complicated, such as separate property that earns interest (e.g. land that earns rent), or when one spouse works in a business which he or she brought to the marriage. The general answer to your question, however, is that the property that is yours at the time of marriage, including the hosue, is still yours.

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Answered on 1/09/02, 9:59 pm

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