Property Division and Bills


Read this court ruling: … 93/stegall


But what does that mean? When he filed for divorce, I entered with my lawyer my response and what I wanted out of the property divison (including responsibility of accrued debt), which he and his lawyer declined. It has never gone any further. Only the divorce was granted. It states that there is a pending claim for equitable distribution on my divorce decree. Since I cannot get any guidance from my lawyer, I am really lost with this all.


If the ED is still pending–I didn’t catch that from your first post–then ask your county to set up a mediation appointment. It doesn’t cost much. There, the mediator (usually a lawyer) will listen to both sides and EQUITABLY divide the assets and liabilities.


Would the mediation be based on what was on the original response to his request for a divorce? Or will we have to start from scratch?


Truthfully I would allow the mediator to determine the fair ED. Each of you will have to file an affidavit showing your share of he assets and liabilities; the mediator then looks at these numbers and draws a line down the middle. If you can afford a legal consultation (around $150) then take the hour and ask as many questions as you can. Again, check with the county, they have lots of resources that can help you.


Ok. This should be my last question. What division of the county do I check with? Thanks for all of your help. It has been helpful.


Try DSS–they have access to all sorts of help and resources. Ask about the possibility of free legal advice, too.


A mediator’s job is not to reach an equitable settlement. The purpose of a mediator is to help the parties reach a settlement that both of them feel comfortable with. This may not be the same settlement the parties would receive if they litigated their issues in court, or even what is fair in the eyes of the law.

The first thing I would do is contact a bankruptcy attorney and explain your situation to them. If your credit is so far gone that you need to file for bankruptcy then this would be a good first step. Second, the threat that you may file may be enough to get your ex-husband to come to the table and negotiate with you. I cannot give you a referral at this point for a bankruptcy attorney, because I need to know what county you live in.

A second alternative: If you have a pending claim for equitable distribution, you have the right to go to court and ask the court to order him to make the payments on the home equity loan. If you are not in a position to pay your lawyer to do so, you may be in a position to do this yourself. You will need to file a motion for interim distribution and ask the court to distribute responsibility for the payment of the home equity loan to him, and ask that they order him to pay the past due balance immediately.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


Property Settlements
North Carolina has adopted the “equitable distribution” method of property distribution, which basically divides the marital assets between the parties without regard to the titled owner. Instead, equitable distribution seeks to divide martial assets fairly and equally, according to many factors. In its simplest form, this is a spreadsheet division of the assets with the values as of the date of separation. Unfortunately, it is usually not that simple. It often involves appraisals, discovery, depositions, and other efforts to determine the true list to be divided.

Of most immediate concern are the preservation of assets and information and the minimizing of depletion of assets. This is critical, and needs to be addressed as soon as the separation is suspected. It is helpful to copy as many records as possible and to block the depletion of accounts. Procedurally, the division of assets can be very straightforward if the parties can cooperate. If they cannot, property divisions may take a year or longer to resolve. This often depends on the attitude of the other party and their lawyer. Obviously, the cost is closely dependent on the difficulty of the case.


I divorced 1 year ago, however the property was never divided nor had a judge ruled on. I lost my job at that time and am still currently paying my divorce lawyer for his services during the 1st part of the divorce. He refuses to assist on anything further until I have paid the balance owed (which is somewhat understandable; he just has never been willing to compromise with me to settle this entirely). My ex-husband verbally and via e-mails assumed responsibility for all joint accounts and debt at the time of the divorce. He still lives in the marital home. I have recently learned that he has been delinquent 5 months now on a home improvement loan that was taken out in both of our names as well as various other CCs. It is ruining me. My lawyer will not assist with this, despite the financial liberty it would allow me to pay him in full, once the division of property and such are settled. I can not apply for any financial assistance (i.e. debt consolidation, car loan, etc) because the defaulted home improvement loan is viewed as a mortgage loan-now 5 MONTHS behind. I am not in any position to make the defaulted payments on this HI loan. Please provide me with avenues to pursue or advise on how to settle the matter legally and finally. Any help would be better than the hair pulling that I am going through now. [V]