Credit Cards and Divorce


#1

I will be married to my husband for 20 years this coming June, 2017. My husbands parents put their 125 acres of land in my husbands name only, through an attorney for fear that if they had to go to a nursing home, the nursing home could not come and take their land. His parents still pay the bills/taxes on the land and it is being farmed.
Our marriage problems started over 10 years ago from my wreck less spending. I forged my husbands name to $50,000.00 worth of credit cards, and I had a problem paying the minimum payment or I didn’t make the payment at all. I have also went into my husbands box of checkbooks and took out two random checks and wrote them out to myself that he later found out about when his checking account balance was off. My husband found out about all of this when he went to the bank to get a loan and all the credit card secrets came out. After all this, my husband forgave me numerous times for all my mishaps and we both had agreed that the income tax checks we receive would go strictly to my husband so he can start getting some of the money back that I spent in credit cards. Well in 2014, I took our income tax check (that is in both of our names) and put it into an old joint checking account of ours so he wouldn’t get the money, and I lied to him about this also. We had to use the house and land his grandmother gave him as collateral to borrow the money to pay for the bank note. My husband added my name to the home because he wanted me to be responsible for paying the loan back as well. He is the primary on the bank note and I am the secondary. The loan will not be paid off until 2025.
My question is, since my husband wants a divorce, will I be legally entitled to half the 125 acres his parents left him since it is in his name only? I don’t feel like I should be the one to leave, because of our two kids, ages 11 and 5. Can my husband get me for the forging his name to the credit cards since it has been over 10 years? How would a judge in your opinion look at our case because I am concerned. Since all of this has happened, my husband handles all the money coming in and out of our home. I do get an “allowance” to run on for gas and all but if I need money I have to go to him. I am a teacher assistant so I do not bring home but maybe $1,500.00 a month. I depend on him to keep me and our kids up and he works two jobs to make that happen. Will I be entitled to alimony also? We have been separated for three years. My husband sleeps at his parents house, but he does come home to wash his clothes and tend to things around the house. We are trying to figure out a separation agreement, because if he had it his way I wouldn’t get anything. I know it is getting crunch time and I want to see what all I am entitled to.

Thank you!


#2

You are likely not entitled to the house because it was an inheritance to your husband unless it can be shown that your husband intended it to be a gift to the marital estate. Inheritances are separate property even if acquired during the marriage.

You are not entitled to the 125 acres because that land was likely a gift to your husband. Gifts from third parties are the separate property of the spouse that received it.

Technically you could still face criminal charges for forgery (i.e. uttering a forged instrument) because this is a felony in NC and NC does not have a statute of limitations for felonies.

It’s possible you could be entitled to alimony. There must be a supporting spouse and a dependent spouse in order for there to be an award of alimony. A judge must consider 16 factors to determine an award of alimony. There is no formula for alimony in NC.

For more information about how alimony works, including a complete list of factors a judge will consider when determining alimony, you can read our article Alimony: The Details.