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 →
You’ve decided to seek a divorce and perhaps to seek child support for your children, or you’re looking at equitable distribution of your marital assets. You’ve researched, met with, and retained your attorney. Now the attorney or a member of the attorney’s staff is calling or sending emails asking questions and seeking what seems like an endless list of documents. You hired this attorney to represent you; why are they putting so much work on you and asking for all this information? 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Best v. Staton, (unpublished).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 →
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 →
Facts: A husband and wife divorced in Ohio. The divorce decree awarded the wife an interest in the husband’s retirement benefits. Continue reading →
Garcia-Tatupu v. Bert Bell/Peter Rozelle NFL Player Ret. Plan, No. CV 16-11131-DPW, F. Supp. 3d , 2017 WL 1398645 (D. Mass. Apr. 18, 2017)
Facts: The husband, a former NFL football player, was divorced from his wife in Massachusetts in 1997. No DRO was entered at the time. The husband died in 2010; he had not remarried. In 2012, the Massachusetts court issued a DRO, nunc pro tunc back to 1997.
Background: There are two ways in which state courts can make a deferred future division of retirement benefits. The traditional method is the shared interest approach, which awards the nonowning spouse a portion of each future payment received by the owning spouse. Continue reading →