Fraudulent free trader agreement before separation

Wife (from whom I have been currently divorced for a year) wanted to buy investment properties during the marriage. I didn’t want to use my credit, so she suggested that I sign a document that would allow her use her credit. I signed the document without an attorney’s review and in the presence of a notary. That document (unknown to me at the time) was a free trader agreement. She then purchased a couple of properties with marital funds and without my knowledge, filed for separation almost two years after, moved out of the family home and claimed that all interests in the secret purchases are hers. How do NC judges generally see my claim that the free trader is fraudulent and thus provide a mode equitable distribution?

If you have been granted an absolute divorce and do not already have an equitable distribution claim pending in court, you cannot now ask the court to equitably divide the marital property.

The properties that your wife purchased with a free trader agreement can probably be classified as both marital property and her separate property. There is a marital property component because the properties were purchased using funds earned during the marriage. There is also a separate property component because of the free trader agreement, assuming it is a valid agreement. The free trader agreement allows a spouse to buy and own real property individually without the other spouse.

The free trader agreement would only be seen as fraudulent if you had been coerced into signing it or entered into it under fraud, duress, etc.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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