In North Carolina, Equitable Distribution (ED) is how property is divided in divorce proceedings. ED can be a complicated process, and much of it relies on timelines and tracing funds. When people get married, a typical occurence is that separate bank accounts are converted to joint accounts. What happens in a divorce proceeding when one spouse claims that the account is not joint but still separate, despite the addition of the other spouse’s name? Continue reading →
Stowe v. Stowe, ___ N.C. App. ___ (2020).
In North Carolina, Equitable Distribution (ED) is one of the mechanisms by which former spouses separate their personal and real property. What if the during the marriage one party opens a business? Unlike other forms of property, businesses have reputations that are carefully cultivated, as well as patrons and other intangibles that make the business more valuable than what can be accounted for on paper. Courts call this factor Goodwill. In the case below, we explore how one court handled Goodwill for an insurance company. Continue reading →
Montague v. Montague, 767 S.E.2d 71 (N.C. App. 2014)
Equitable Distribution (ED) is one of the mechanisms by which former spouses separate their personal and real property. What if the during the marriage one party opens a small business? Businesses are subject to ED, and valuation of a business can be very complex. In the case below, we encounter one issue where a family law specialist with experience in Equitable Distribution can be valuable. Continue reading →
Searcy v. Searcy, No. COA11-11 (N.C. Ct. App. 2011)
In North Carolina, settlement and distribution of marital property can be addressed in a separation agreement. Such an agreement is essentially a contract between the parties. A unique term, “fiduciary,” is sometimes used to describe a relationship between spouses that can be distilled to mean trust. As in contract law, there must be full and truthful disclosure of facts surrounding terms and provisions in a contract between parties who are fiduciaries to each other. Failing to disclose a certain fact can render the contract invalid. But in divorce proceedings, when does the fiduciary relationship end? In the case below, we see that there is no bright line. Continue reading →
Mejia v. Mejia, No.COA19-438 (May 2020).
In North Carolina, we typically see two types of agreements in the realm of marriage and divorce. First is the Prenuptial Agreement; the second is the Separation Agreement. Separation agreements often contain provisions that resolve issues of child support, alimony, child custody, and distribution of marital property. At times, one party may be strong-armed into signing an agreement. In that case, the party may claim Duress. Below, we discuss a case in which a Husband claimed Duress to prevent enforcement of a Separation Agreement. Continue reading →
Best v. Staton, (unpublished).
Equitable Distribution is one of the mechanisms by which former spouses separate their personal and real property. It requires the right timing and, since not all property can be easily split, the right kind of appraisal. Real property is especially valuable, and sometimes difficult to assess. In the case below, we discuss why you should consult an expert in Equitable Distribution. Continue reading →
Logue v. Logue, No. COA19-831 (unpublished opinion)
One of the most important issues dealt with by experienced family law and divorce attorneys across the country, and especially in the Piedmont Triad, is the division of property (also known as equitable distribution). When there are shared business interests, the valuation of the business(es) adds another layer of complexity. Read on to see how the date of separation, a ‘fact’ on which the parties are not always in agreement, can greatly affect the dollar amounts in property division. Continue reading →
Welwood v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2019113, 2019 WL 4187568 (2019)
(a) Facts: Husband and wife were married in 1973. They separated in Florida 2003 and signed an agreement dividing their property.
In the agreement, the husband conveyed to the wife a 50% interest in certain real estate partnerships. The partnerships were designed to generate tax savings in early years. A 1986 tax law change limiting the deduction of passive losses against other income made the partnerships much less attractive in their later years. Continue reading →
Asad v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 201780, 2017 WL 2211215 (2017), aff’d, 751 F. App’x 339 (3d Cir. 2018)
(a) Facts: A husband and wife owned rental properties. Each spouse was responsible for some of the properties. They filed joint tax returns in which they claimed losses on the properties. Continue reading →
Does the entry of a court-ordered equitable distribution create an interest to a retirement asset? Do you even need to file a DRO or QDRO when an equitable distribution consent order is signed by a judge? See how the North Carolina Court of Appeals saves the award of the marital portion of a retirement account that had not been disbursed before the intestate death of the former husband. Continue reading →