In North Carolina, we see cases where one spouse is primarily a breadwinner for the family, often bringing in most if not all of the income. In those case, the other spouse is the homemaker, the one that cares for the children and/or pets and maintains the home. And when it comes to separation and divorce, dollar values become important. So how do you value a homemaker spouse’s contribution to the marriage? Continue reading →
Madar v. Madar, No.COA20-28 (Dec. 2020).
In North Carolina, alimony is a type of spousal support that provides for the maintenance of a dependent spouse, by the supporting spouse. Dependent and supporting are legal terms, with incredible significance. In order to receive alimony, one must be a dependent spouse, the other party must be a supporting spouse, and the alimony must be fair after considering a set of factors in our statutes and case law. Below is a simple case outlining how a court determined dependent/supporting spouse. Continue reading →
In Ellis v. Ellis, the North Carolina Court of Appeals reviewed N.C.G.S. § 50-16.3A and the lower court’s application of the statute. It considered the sixteen relevant factors included in the statute to determine the amount, duration, and method of payment for an award of alimony when there were acts of marital misconduct condoned by the other spouse. Continue reading →
Horner v. Horner, No. COA19-632 (unpublished)
An alimony claim in North Carolina requires one spouse to be a dependent spouse and the other spouse to be a supporting spouse. A dependent spouse, as defined by statute, is a spouse who is “actually substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support or is substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse” (N.C.G.S. § 50-16.1A). It is important to remember that in North Carolina a claim for alimony must be pending when a Judgment of Absolute Divorce is entered. If an alimony claim is not pending when a Judgment of Absolute Divorce is entered, the claimant is barred from bringing the claim in the future.
Devine v. Devine, (No. COA19-913) (unpublished)
Here in Greensboro, business owners are not immune to unhappy marriages. Divorces can be long and complicated messes, especially when the fortunes of the family rest upon the fortunes of the business. Child support and alimony are based partly on the income and expenses of the parties going through divorce. In the case below, we discuss how one court, which presumably lacked business experience, incorrectly calculated a party’s income. Continue reading →
Finn v. Finn, COA 19-520 (Unpublished opinion)
Alimony can be a complex element in divorce. How much is fair and reasonable, how it is categorized for tax purposes, or even whether it is owed at all are matters often left to the discretion of judges. Here in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, we had a case that required some back-and-forth among the judges to get it right.
Facts: This is a previously remanded case from the North Carolina Court of Appeals instructing the trial court to make additional findings for alimony and attorney fees.
Faust v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2019 105, 2019 WL 3938725 (2019)
(a) Facts: Husband and wife were divorced in Virginia. The wife was a victim of spousal abuse during the marriage. She was Hispanic; English was not her first language. Continue reading →
Siegel v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2019 11, 2019 WL 643186 (2019)
(a) Facts: Husband and wife were divorced in New York. The final decree ordered the husband to pay to the wife spousal maintenance of $10,110 per month. The husband failed to pay, and the wife filed enforcement proceedings. The court found the husband in contempt and threatened to imprison him unless he paid $225,000 to the wife.
The husband paid the sum required and then deducted it as alimony on his 2012 tax return. The IRS assessed a deficiency on the basis that the $225,000 was not alimony, and the husband appealed to the Tax Court. Continue reading →
(a) Facts: When the parties were divorced, the husband agreed to pay the wife $2,400 per month in alimony. Twenty-four years later, the husband filed an action against the wife in federal court for breach of contract, arguing that he had overpaid alimony and that the wife was required to return the overpayment. The action was dismissed quickly as time-barred.