The knee jerk reaction when one is facing divorce has been for each spouse to go out and hire the toughest “bull-dog”attorneys they can find. This would be followed by drag-out court battles where there is only going to be one “winner,” and both sides will run up hefty legal bills.  While this model might…

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There are many reasons why people interested in adoption use an attorney. It’s important for the adoptive parents and the placing parent to have separate legal representation to make certain that their respective rights are protected and to assure a safe, permanent, final adoption.  Whether you choose a private adoption, an agency adoption, an intrastate…

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Choosing a good family law attorney may seem to be an impossible task (may seem to be difficult), but if you follow some basic advice, you will be able to find/choose/locate/obtain counsel that can best help you efficiently and effectively achieve your goals.    Knowledge of the Law  Any good attorney must start with a solid…

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North Carolina courts are to make an equal division of the marital estate unless they determine that an equal division is not equitable.  In making this determination, the court shall consider the following factors, all of which are set forth at North Carolina General Statute § 50-20(c): (1) The income, property, and liabilities of each…

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Post-separation property transfers between spouses are considered “incident to divorce” and are generally not subject to taxes by the Internal Revenue Service.  However, if the transfers take place a year or more after the separation, there is a presumption that the transfer was not incident to the separation and consequently the transfer becomes taxable.  This…

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Property that is subject to equitable distribution includes real property, vehicles, household furniture and furnishings, bank accounts, investment accounts, annuities, retirement accounts, business interests, cash, the cash value of life insurance policies, art, collectibles, jewelry, electronics and anything other asset or item of property acquired during the marriage.  Regardless of how an asset is titled…

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Generally speaking, the marital fault or misconduct (adultery, cruelty or inhumane treatment, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, nonsupport, etc.) of a party is not relevant in the equitable distribution proceeding.  However, if the misconduct has an economic impact on the parties’ financial condition, then the court may consider this and determine that an unequal distribution is…

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As discussed briefly above, there are two main categories of property in the equitable distribution context, marital property and separate property. Marital property is broadly defined under statute and includes “all real and personal property acquired by either spouse or both spouses during the course of the marriage and before the date of the separation…

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There are four steps in the equitable distribution process:  (1) identification, (2) categorization, (3) valuation and (4) distribution.   Identification. The first step in the equitable distribution process is to identify all property owned by one or both parties on the date of separation. Property that is identified during this stage includes real property, vehicles, household furniture and…

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Equitable distribution is governed by North Carolina General Statute §§ 50-20, 50-20.1 and 50-21.  The only requirements to file an equitable distribution are that you must be married to the person you are filing the claim against, and you must be separated from that person.  Furthermore, your equitable distribution claim must be pending (filed) before…

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