If you are separated or you’re considering separating from your husband or wife in North Carolina, one of the first questions you’ll get from an attorney is “what was your date of separation?” One of the reasons is that spouses are presumptively entitled to one-half of all “marital property.” Marital property includes real estate, bank accounts, vehicles and even lottery tickets that are acquired with marital funds or by marital efforts from the date of marriage to the date of separation.
You may have read recently that a Michigan man who bought a Mega Million lottery ticket prior to separating from his wife had to split the $38 million winnings with her even though they were divorced. He had purchased the lottery ticket for $1 but he used money earned while they were married to buy the ticket so his ex-wife received one-half of the winnings. So even if you are divorced, it isn’t over until all marital property has been divided.
For advice on what constitutes marital property or any other questions related to a separation or divorce, call the law offices of Black, Slaughter & Black in our Greensboro, Charlotte, Triangle, or Coastal offices.