Property division can be one of the most contentious parts of a divorce. Further complicating this process is the fact that courts must determine not just how marital property should be divided but even what qualifies as marital property. Equitable distribution is an option in North Carolina divorces, but the process for requesting it is not standardized throughout the state. Some courts and localities have specific rules regarding filing for equitable distribution, so consulting with a Greensboro divorce lawyer will ensure the district requirements are met. Continue reading →
Achraf Hakimi is an unknown name to most Americans. However, in Europe and most of the world, he is famous as the starting right back for Paris Saint-Germain, one of the most famous soccer teams in the world, and he represented his home country, Morocco, in the latest World Cup. Needless to say, Mr. Hakimi is quite successful on the football pitch (soccer field) and has been rewarded handsomely for his talent. His contract at Paris-Saint Germain is rumored to be in the range of a million dollars a month. He’s had some legal issues recently; specifically he is under investigation by French authorities for an alleged rape. And even more recently, likely due to the underlying allegations, his wife has filed for divorce. Continue reading →
DONATI V. DONATI, 2023-NCCOA-________ (2023) (unpublished).
- Facts: Husband and Wife separated and a claim for equitable distribution was filed by Husband, who claimed that he ought to receive more than fifty percent of all marital and divisible property. Husband contended that he sold his separate residence, a house owned before the marriage, and then put about $60,000 of those proceeds into the marital home. The trial court found that an in-kind distribution was equitable, and that an equal division was not. Husband appealed and argued that he was entitled to the return or reimbursement or credit for the $60,000 that he claims was his separate contribution to the marital property.
It is not rare in this day and age that a spouse “brings” a home into a marriage. This means that one spouse was the owner of a home before they got married. It also likely means that the spouse bringing the home into the marriage was paying the mortgage. It is typical that, upon marriage, all funds are co-mingled and “my money” becomes “our money.” That is the case even if the spouses keep separate accounts and only deposit their respective paychecks into their separate accounts. North Carolina is not a title-controls state. The acquisition of a piece of marital property is usually dependent on whether it was acquired during the marriage or not. (Note: law is complex and there are exceptions.) But what about the home? Continue reading →
Shropshire v. Shropshire, 2022-NCCOA-441.
Plaintiff and Defendant separated and initiated a case for Equitable distribution (ED). Pursuant to a pretrial Order, the parties filed affidavits for the ED trial. Both parties listed retirement plans under the “marital property” section of the affidavit. This included the Plaintiff’s 401(k) plan. Furthermore, both parties designated that Plaintiff’s retirement plans had values to be determined for date of separation and “net” value. Under the section of the affidavit marked for “divisible property,” neither party listed any property.
In a hearing in August of 2018, the parties testified about ED. In October 2018, the trial court judge told the parties that evidence was going to be reopened so that evidence could be presented that showed the date of trial values for the retirement plans, as well as value of the marital residence. Plaintiff objected to the reopening and filed a motion to recuse.
The motion was denied in trial court and the reopening was allowed. The information was provided over objections, and a final ED order was entered. Plaintiff appealed. Continue reading →
Wright v. Wright, 222 N.C. App. 309, 730 S.E.2d 218 (2012)
- Facts: Plaintiff and Defendant married in 2002 and subsequently separated in 2008. Defendant was a professional football player in the NFL. While playing football, Defendant suffered significant injuries, three of which were sustained while he was married to Plaintiff. Defendant retired in 2008 due to those injuries. Defendant began receiving disability payments because of his retirement from the NFL. He also applied for permanent disability. These benefits are paid to former players. The trial court classified these disability benefits as deferred compensation programs and distributed them in equitable distribution. Defendant appealed.
Equitable Distribution in North Carolina is a legal process by which the court divides the marital property between the parties. It involves three steps: 1) classifying the property as marital or separate (or some mix); 2) assigning value to the property; and 3) distributing the property in an equitable manner between the parties. We have written a lot with emphasis on the first step of the analysis, classification. This makes sense in that the court will only distribute marital assets and not touch the separate. So today we will talk about the second step, valuation.
Our pets and divorce saga continues. Today we have a tale from the state of Washington that continues this trend. A couple that separated in 2018 owned two dogs together: Kona and Mr. Bear. At the time, they co-parented the dogs extensively, texting each other schedules, grooming appointments, trainings, and social outings. Throughout the divorce proceedings, both parties emphasized how important the dogs were to them, and how important it was for the dogs not to be split up. Ultimately, the Husband got the dogs, but the Wife got a visitation schedule. Husband wanted to remove those visitation provisions, the court denied, and he appealed to the court of appeals. Husband won, and the visitation provisions were struck out. Continue reading →
In North Carolina, a stipulation, in the legal context, is an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit. It is most commonly used by parties to extend deadlines for responding to discovery or to agree on a factual finding that is uncontested. It can be done to minimize costs in litigation, because there is no need to spend time proving something that is agreed upon. Good practice dictates that stipulations are written and signed by the parties and/or attorneys and then presented to the court. Continue reading →
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 →