Can spousal abuse be factored into equitable distribution or

s spousal abuse–emotional abuse involving indignities of a verbal and behaviorial nature–influence financial settlements such as alimony and distribution? What is meant by indignities and how are they proved?

Abuse is a factor which is considered in an action for alimony. If you are the dependent spouse your husband’s abusive actions, if proven, will be relevant to alimony claim. Emotional abuse typically is not severe enough in the courts eyes to qualify as making one’s like intolerable and burdensome. Some examples that I have seen in some cases are: refusing to provide support (maintaining the home, providing necessities), or carrying on adulterous affairs in the home. Alimony is not punitive in nature.

According to the laws in North Carolina your spouse will be entitled to equitable distribution of the marital assets which includes retirement accounts. Normally the court considers a 50% distribution to each party to be equitable; however there are several factors that can be considered in order to award one spouse a greater than 50% share of the property. While abuse is not specifically listed as a factor in the statute, there is a “catch all” which allows the court to consider any other factor which the court finds to be just and proper.

You should meet with an attorney immediately to discuss the specifics of your case.