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 →
Suppose you are separated or divorced, or you have recently retired or been placed on disability, and are the parent of a minor child. If you receive dependent benefits through Social Security or the Veterans Administration, your child support obligation may be reduced or eliminated, provided you are not behind or delinquent on your current court-ordered payments. 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Horner v. Horner, No. COA19-632 (unpublished)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Devine v. Devine, (No. COA19-913) (unpublished)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.
Henry v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 201924, 2019 WL 1385242 (2019)
(a) Facts: Husband and wife married in 1997 and divorced in 2013. While the divorce case was pending, the parties filed a joint income tax return for tax year 2012. The return did not report $14,650 in income earned by the husband from his second job as a church musician.
The IRS assessed a deficiency, which neither party contested. The IRS then seized funds from the wife’s 2014 tax return to satisfy the deficiency. The wife moved for innocent spouse relief. The IRS granted relief but denied the wife a refund. The wife sought review in the Tax Court.