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When is an Alimony Claim Barred?

In Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

Alimony. One simple word can ignite passions rarely seen in other areas of the law. This can be attributed to the fact that North Carolina is an “absolute divorce” state, which does not consider the element of fault when legally severing a marriage. As a result, a couple’s opportunity to have their “day in court” and establish who misbehaved during the marriage generally comes in the context of a lawsuit for alimony. Like any great drama, alimony can encompass issues like infidelity, marital misconduct, a couple’s standard of living, and money. However, before a court can hear any of this evidence, parties will provide evidence as to the threshold questions of whether the spouse requesting alimony is entitled to it, or whether that spouse is barred from receiving alimony payments. …

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Alimony and Social Media

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Carly Baker

The social media era has veered us into a brave new world of over-sharing our lives. With Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter at our fingertips, it is so easy to instantaneously transmit our words, photos, and videos to everyone we’ve ever known. Unfortunately, this access has also led to countless careers and lives ruined. Just look at James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy director whose years-old vulgar Tweets cost him his job, or at swimmer Ryan Lochte, whose swimming career has possibly ended due to an Instagram he posted while receiving a prohibited IV treatment. The risks that are associated with social media also come into play when it comes to resolving the end of a marriage. North Carolina Divorces are No-Fault When couples divorce in North Carolina, they …

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Defending Against False Marital Misconduct Claims

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

To state things mildly, separation and divorce can be an intense and bitter experience. Whatever sequence of events or acts that led to the separation, some spouses are absolutely set on taking the other spouse down and having their “day in court.” Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to spouses getting carried away and making false marital misconduct claims against the other spouse. So the question of the day is: should you let a false claim stand or is there a way to defend yourself? What is Marital Misconduct? Marital misconduct is defined in the North Carolina as improper acts that occur before or on the date of a married couple’s separation including: sexual infidelity; a spouse’s criminal act; abandonment; “malicious turning out of doors;” cruel treatment that endangered the other spouse’s …

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Explaining Marital Torts in NC

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

North Carolina is an absolute divorce state. This means that after a year of living separate and apart, a spouse is entitled to petition a court for a no-fault divorce. In other words, the court does not need to find “irreconcilable differences” or “adultery” or any other finding that you’ve heard of or read in tabloids whenever celebrities divorce in a different state. Instead, a North Carolina court just needs to find that it has jurisdiction and that a year has passed since the date of separation. This does not mean, however, that marital misconduct plays no role when couples separate and divorce. In fact, there are two areas that misconduct may play a role. The first is alimony, where marital misconduct is a factor that the court can consider …

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Abandonment versus Separation

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Everyone handles the deterioration of their marriage differently. Some couples try for years to work things out through couples therapy and varying levels of effort on the part of each spouse. Other couples end things quickly—ranging from an amicable to explosively contested separation. Another possible scenario involves a spouse abandoning the other spouse. To become legally divorced in North Carolina, a couple must be separated for a full year before they can obtain a no-fault divorce. However, just because divorces are no-fault does not mean that marital misconduct is irrelevant. It is important to understand that separation and abandonment are not the same things, and that abandonment can actually have a significant impact on spousal support and child custody awards. Abandonment and Alimony A spouse can demonstrate that abandonment occurred …