Property Settlement

Part 1: Self-Help Legal Services: The Dangers of the Do-It-Yourself Separation Agreement

October 26, 2014

In a family law context, do-it-yourself separation agreements present an area that is laden with potential problems. A separation agreement, which may also be referred to by other names such as a Marital Settlement Agreement or Contract of Separation and Property Settlement Agreement, is a written contract between a husband and wife wherein they reach various agreements related to their marital separation. Some of the dangers of a do-it-yourself separation agreement are delineated below. Many…

Read This Article >>

What Is Considered “Separate Property?”

September 22, 2014

In North Carolina, “separate property” refers to assets or debts owned by one spouse individually. Separate property is considered all property (real estate or personal property) acquired by a spouse prior to marriage, or acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage. Separate property includes debts acquired prior to marriage such as student loans or credit card debt. Separate property can include assets and debts that do not fit so neatly into the above-referenced definition.…

Read This Article >>
Image of cute yellow lab puppy smiling to the camera.

Who Should Get the Family Dog?

September 8, 2014

Many people consider their pet as a member of their family, not just personal property. Consequently, when couples split up, there are sometimes disagreements as to which party should take possession and responsibility for the family pet. In North Carolina, dogs, cats, horses and other animals are considered personal property, such as a television or automobile. The laws of our state have not yet evolved to recognize pets and other animals as anything more than…

Read This Article >>
Image of the back of a man in a suit with his right arm bent behind his back and his fingers crossed, depicting the act of a lie.

Truth or Consequences: The Impact of Lying in Your Domestic Case

August 11, 2014

There are many reasons why people lie – tell an intentional untruth – during domestic cases. When the stakes are high, such as when someone is faced with losing custody of their child or a spouse whom they still love, it is not surprising that they may embellish or outright lie to try to bolster their case, conceal evidence that may be damaging to their case, or make false allegations to try to hurt or…

Read This Article >>

Dividing the Household Furniture

August 4, 2014

Almost all couples have household furniture and other furnishings that they divide when they separate. Household furnishings that are marital property are subject to valuation and distribution like any other marital asset. In valuing household furnishings for purposes of division, North Carolina state laws require the court to use the fair market value of the item as of the date of separation, not the replacement value. “Fair market value” is considered the amount an item…

Read This Article >>