Say that you provided funds, checks, cash, or other payments to your ex since separation. You have a claim pending for equitable distribution, which seeks to divide your marital property. But court is slow. It can take some time for your case to be reached. When it is, how should the court treat those payments you made? Were they gifts, or were they something the court ought to consider in equitable distribution? Continue reading →
Suozzo v. Suozzo, 2022-NCCOA-620.
Facts: Plaintiff wife and Defendant husband entered into a separation agreement wherein Defendant was to pay Plaintiff $200,000 in monthly installments over 240 months. This arrangement began in March 2006 and would terminate in March of 2026. For the first 18-36 months, Defendant made the monthly payment. Sometime in 2008, Defendant stopped making those payments. Plaintiff chose to file a breach of contract claim against Defendant but not until 2019, more than ten years since Defendant stopped paying. The trial court awarded Plaintiff $100,789 in damages, calculated by granting only the missed payments due within three years of the commencement of Plaintiff’s action—as any unpaid installments due prior to February 2016 were barred by the statute of limitations—and the payments that became due while the action was pending through judgment. Defendant appealed. Continue reading →
Plaintiff Jolin Brady (“Mother”) and Defendant Erron Brady (“Father”) were married on April 26, 1997. Father and Mother had four children. Father was in undergraduate school at Brigham Young University when the parties married. While Father was in dental school, Mother worked as a paralegal and then stopped working when the parties’ eldest son was born. In 2002, Father and Mother moved to Charlotte, North Carolina once Father finished dental school. Father owns his own dental practice. In 2014, Mother began working as a part-time yoga instructor.
Brady v. Brady, 2022 NCCOA 200 (N.C. Ct. App. 2022)
Brady v. Brady came before the NC Court of Appeals on Defendant Husband’s appeal.
ISSUE: What findings of facts are required to support awards of alimony, a distributive award, and the unequal distribution of assets. Continue reading →
Davidson v. Davidson, 2022-NCCOA-267 (unpublished)
In North Carolina, alimony orders are modifiable upon showing the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances for either party. In doing so, the trial court ought to revisit many of the factors that justified the original alimony order. The main requirement is that the modification order must relate to the financial needs of the dependent spouse and/or the ability to pay of the supporting spouse. Continue reading →
Wayne Hopper, Legal Assistant
Williams v. Williams, 261 S.E.2d 849 (1980)
Alimony (also called spousal support in North Carolina) is a form of financial support awarded during a divorce proceeding and serves as a means to assist a dependent spouse post marriage. A “dependent spouse” is a person substantially reliant on their spouse for financial support or maintenance. Under North Carolina law, either spouse can receive alimony so long as they meet one of two criteria: (1) the spouse cannot meet their own reasonable financial needs without the other spouse’s income or assets, or (2) the spouse cannot maintain the standard of living they have enjoyed during the marriage absent the other spouse’s income or assets. Continue reading →
Sam Willis and Sarah Willis were married in August 1981. Sam filed his Complaint on March 28, 1985, seeking a divorce from bed and board, alimony, and equitable distribution. Before the parties married, Sam sold Sarah a house and lot on Claremont Road. Throughout the marriage, the couple lived at the Claremont Road property. Sam made all of the mortgage payments during the marriage. These payments amounted to $9,900. Sarah appeals from the equitable distribution judgment entered pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-20. Continue reading →
Congress recently repealed I.R.C. §§ 71 and 215, which eliminated federal tax deductions for alimony. They have additionally repealed I.R.C. § 61(a)(8), which designated that alimony was taxable income. However, divorce and separation agreements that were executed after December 31, 2018 are the only ones this new law applies to. Below we look at some recent cases involving alimony deductions. Continue reading →
Orren v. Orren, 800 S.E.2d 472, 253 N.C.App. 480 (N.C. App. 2017)
We have previously written about what cohabitation means in the alimony and postseparation support context. Essentially, according to North Carolina law, it is an appropriate termination point for alimony and postseparation support. But in some cases, a party that could potentially bring a claim for spousal support may have already begun to cohabitate. Can the potential supporting party claim cohabitation as a defense? Continue reading →