Marriage and How Impacts Your Real Estate

A business relationship

Marriage is a great thing when you are tied together with the right partner. Experiencing life with a special someone is something I hope everyone gets to experience. The limits of that joy are unknown. But on top of the emotional relationship you have with your spouse there is also a business relationship. In the vows of some older and more traditional weddings, the words “all my worldy possession to thee” were included. 

NC-Marital Interest

The laws in every state are different. I’m licensed in NC so this post is going to deal directly with the laws and practice in my state, but if you buy property somewhere else, be sure your agent and attorney there explain to you how it works. In our state, one spouse can buy real estate but it would take both partners signing the deed in order to sell it. This is called marital interest. If the property is owned by 1 spouse, legally it requires both in agreement to sell it…even if only one of them is on the deed or mortgage. 

It’s complicated….

Sadly not all marriages last. We know the divorce rate is high, and while I won’t go into details here, its important to realize that your marriage is 2 things…an emotional bond and a business partnership. When we introduce divorce to the world of real estate, we have to dissolve a business entity…all the worldly possessions, including the real estate have to divided up. 

If we introduce remarriage to property, it gets more convoluted. Property that was bought by a couple, who divorced and remarried could be owned by multiple people who traditionally wouldn’t want to own property together. If we introduce the death of one of those spouces it can get exponentially more complex. The property that was bought by a happy couple then belongs to an assortment of ex-wives and husbands and the step children involved. 

Your attorney is YOUR attorney

I have gone over this before in a previous blog post, but your attorney is YOUR attorney and they work for you in your best interest. Those additional splits in marriage can be very complicated and confusing and it takes a great attorney and paralegal to get it all sorted out. That’s exactly why they are part of your team and their legal advice and guidance is of critical importance. 


The laws affecting marriage aren’t the only thing that differs from state to state. Be sure to protect your family against the tragedy of death of a spouse. I hope you never expereince that level of tragedy, but if it happens to your family, you need to have a good will in place. Your family is likely going to be emotionally devastated, but without a proper will, there could be some major financial issues awaiting them. There’s going to be a period of mourning and healing after the death, and with a will in place, there will at least be a level of peace knowing the worldly affairs are taken care while the family heels emotionally. Do some research or contact your attorney to have a will drawn up today!

More content on its way

Next week we are going to build off of this topic and discuss why Title and Title insurance is included when you buy a property. There’s also some great previous entries in this series. I’ve got 60 entries now, along with some stand alone topics that weren’t part of the Terms Tips and Tricks branding. I’d also be MORE than happy to answer some specific questions or cover topics you’d like to know more about. Thats the teacher in me!

I’m standing by when you are ready to get moving!

Welcome Home 

Chris Whitehurst

Rose and Womble Real Estate

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