Divorce: Senior Citizen Style


#1

I am not certain about the land situation. It would seem that if the land was not given during the marriage and was owned prior then it would be his. Now, if a loan was taken out during the marriage for those improvements then she would be entitled to 1/2 of the value of those. I think the attorney is right on that but I am not certain that should affect selling off part of the land as long as the part that he’s selling does not include the portion that she has a vested interest in…
I would also think that she would not need to sign since her name is not on the deed and since he did not add her name to the property during the marriage, she is not entitled to it.

Yes he can ask for alimony. Any spouse may ask for alimony if the other spouse makes more money.

If she abandoned him, she has no right to make demands, but that’s my own opinion. If his attorney is advising him that he can sell the acres he wishes and work out with her the portion of the improvements later then I would tell him to sell, sue for alimony or post separation spousal support and start making some demands of his own…
EDIT: If she’s refusing to sign a separation agreement until he meets her demands then I suggest he quit being a nice guy about this. He offered her a portion of the land, possibly more than what she’ll get now, and she refused. He needs to start being selfish and think about his future…


#2

As long as the closing attorney does not require his Wife’s signature he can sell the land without her consent. Because he is married, they may require her to sign off on the deed.

Your assessment as to her interests in the property is correct. She is entitled only to the value of the capital improvements.

The alimony claim will depend on how long they were married, their actual income discrepancies, the source of her income and his income.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#3

[:)] Thank you both for your very helpful responses.


#4

I have another question, and I thank you in advance for any and all responses. Can my father-in-law place his property into an irrevocable trust without having his estranged wife involved? Those of us in his family are attempting to come up with ways to protect his property, not only from the estranged wife who abandoned him, but also from possible healthcare related issues which might occur in the future.

Would it be possible for this trust, if set up in such a manner, to enable him to sell property as necessary, and to provide monies for this pending divorce settlement?


#5

He can put the property in a trust, however it will still require a transfer in ownership.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#6

My father-in-law, who is almost 79 years old, was recently abandoned by his second wife of a similar age. She left him assuming that during their marriage, he had put her name on the deed to his 40 acre farm in Western North Carolina. He had not done so.

She has a substantial federal government retirement pension plus a monthly Social Security check as income. My father-in-law only has his minimum Social Security check upon which to live from month to month. He wishes to sell several acres of his land in order to supplement his income, to pay off his share of the accrued marital debts, and to pay his legal fees. His estranged wife is refusing to sign off on the land deals unless he gives her half of the proceeds.

He has retained an attorney. The attorney says that because the wife’s name isn’t on the property deed, she is only legally entitled to one half of the appraised value of the capital improvements made on the property during their marriage. She would not be legally entitled to any real property, such as half the farm or monies in lieu of such land.

An appraiser has identified the capital improvements as being a shed and a workshop added during her tenure at the farm, and some improvement on a front porch. We have not seen any actual numbers yet from the appraiser.

Can my father-in-law go ahead and sell property without his estranged wife’s agreement and signature? Is she entitled to half the proceeds even though her name was never on the farm deed? She is refusing to retain her own attorney and also is refusing to consider a separation agreement until he gives in to her demands. He offered her five acres in a first proposal and she refused.

Because she abandoned him without any warning, can he sue for alimony due to their income discrepancies?

I would like to know if his attorney is advising him correctly.

Thanks for feedback!