In North Carolina, the date of separation is the cut off date for marital property. Therefore, marital property is anything that is earned/acquired during marriage (with some exceptions) until the date of separation.
After the date of separation, the property that has a marital component (i.e. divisible property) is the property that was marital during the marriage and has accumulated passively after the date of separation (i.e. interest on bank accounts). Most of the property that was earned/acquired after the date of separation is separate property.
Therefore, to answer your question, once you separated from your spouse (it does not have to be a legal separation as long you are physically separated with the intent to remain separate), the issue is whether the monetary assets would be characterized as separate or divisible.
Cordell & Cordell has divorce lawyers nationwide that could help you determine the proper categorization of the monetary assets obtained after the date of separation to determine who is entitled to the assets. Please be advised that my answering of this question does not constitute an attorney client relationship.
Andrea Miller is a Staff Attorney in the Charlotte, N.C., office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Miller is licensed in the state of North Carolina. Ms. Miller received her undergraduate degree in History and her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While in law school, she on the Client Counseling Team for Moot Court and became a board member. Ms. Miller also participated in UNC’s Legal Assistance Clinic whereby she helped represent indigent clients obtain legal counsel primarily in the area of domestic relations.