Articles Posted in Divorce

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Desai v. Desai, No.COA20-435 (July 2021) (unpublished)

An interim distribution is an order of the court that can be entered anytime after the filing of the equitable distribution (ED) claim and before the final judgment on equitable distribution. In these interim orders, the court can classify, value, and distribute certain assets or debts. This partial distribution can also provide for a distributive award that one party pays the other in exchange for the distribution of an asset or debt. So how does this affect the final judgment? Below is a case that explains simply what should happen. Continue reading →

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Unpublished Opinion – No. COA19-566

 

Carmen Cousin and Terry Cousin were married for seventeen years.  They separated in May 2016.  Upon separating, Carmen filed a complaint, which included a claim for equitable distribution.  Terry then filed an answer, which included a counterclaim for equitable distribution.  In the final equitable distribution order entered by the court in July 2018, the court assigned a value of $26,070.00 to the parties’ 1965 Lincoln Continental.  The court considered evidence showing the car to be fully restored, thus assigning it that value.  Furthermore, the court awarded Terry the parties’ Myrtle Beach property and ordered him to refinance the mortgage into his sole name before receiving the deed from Carmen.  Terry timely appealed this equitable distribution order.  Continue reading →

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Divorce rates among couples age 50 and over are on the rise. These so-called “gray divorces” may be a result of many societal factors, including longer life expectancy, increased social mobility and earning potential, and changes in the stigma regarding divorce. Couples often stay in an unhappy marriage for their kids, but once the kids are grown and self-sufficient divorce becomes an option, especially if the aforementioned factors are at play. These gray divorces have implications that may not be present in other divorces. Continue reading →

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Spouses who own businesses can often keep a tight lid on finances. This may not be an issue at the onset of marriage, but it means that often, the other spouse is clueless as to how the money is being made. In the unfortunate event of divorce, income becomes a bigger issue when litigating over support and property division. This post is to serve as a primer for two common business entities you may encounter in North Carolina: the C corporation (C corp) and the S corporation (S corp). Continue reading →

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A lawsuit is initiated the day it is filed with the court. But the rules of law usually require that before your requested relief can be granted the other side gets their day in court. This is the fundamental basis of our legal system. It is one predicated not only on the laws and statutes developed, but also on providing fair and adequate notice for the party being complained of to come to court and answer the allegations. Therefore, the first big hurdle for getting legal remedy is giving the defendant notice that they are the subject of a lawsuit. This first hurdle is often called process and service of process. Continue reading →

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Recently, I have been giving thought to how increases in separate property values through the active work of a spouse is considered during equitable distribution. As a refresh, the goal of a trial court in divorce is to classify all property owned on the date of separation, value it, and then distribute it between the parties; only marital property is distributed. Generally, increases in value to separate property during the course of a marriage are still separate property. However, the analysis does not end there. Continue reading →

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Dechkovskaia v. Dechkovskaia, 232 N.C. App. 350 (2014)

Equitable Distribution is a mechanism by which former spouses separate their personal and real property. Sometimes the spouses may have some marital (or divisible) interest in a third party’s property. One example is when a couple resides at one spouse’s parent’s residence, and the spouses make some improvement on the land that increases property value. That likely creates an interest in the improvement on the home, which can be attributed to one or both spouses in some manner. Continue reading →

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“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” – Mary Shelley.

Change can be positive or negative. Everyone will experience it, and everyone grows from it. Divorce and separation are very big changes. For some, it is an upheaval of life itself, and of personal identity. For others, it may be welcome relief. Moving forward after a big change can be difficult, even if positive. While nothing can replace trusted professional care, some tips can help the mind process the change. Continue reading →

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Brackney v. Brackney, 682 S.E.2d 401 (N.C. App. 2009).

  • Facts: Plaintiff and Defendant had a child with severe neurological needs. To accommodate the child’s needs, they chose to build a single-level home that was accessible. The child unfortunately passed. The parties then separated a year later. The home’s construction was not yet finished and the parties had not yet closed on the home. Per the contract with the home builder, if the home did not close on a specific date, the down payment for the home would be forfeit. The Plaintiff was allocated the home in an interim distribution, and thereafter closed on the home. In the preceeding years, the property value on the home skyrocketed by $181,000. At trial, Plaintiff made an argument that this increase was his own separate property. The trial court did not agree, classified it as divisible property, and Plaintiff appealed.

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TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé television show has been an unexpected reality TV hit – so much so that there are now countless spin-offs involving the hijinks of favorite cast members. The culture shock is very engaging, and reality TV is all about entertainment, but there is a kernel of legal truth to the show and that is the K1 Visa. It is an avenue for immigration to the US for fiancés of American citizens. Once they arrive in America, the couple needs to legally marry within 90 days or risk removal procedures. The premise of the show is simple. Many things can go wrong in those 90 days, and it never fails that something does—it is almost always a train wreck waiting to happen, and viewers get front row seats to watch the carnage. Continue reading →