Hello there Willie --
Your question was referred to me for answering. I am sorry to hear about your situation and regarding the physical abuse, my suggestion is that you contact the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services where they will refer you to resources in your county and they will come out to investigate and most likely set you up with an in home caretaker who can visit you several times a week to keep an eye on what is happening in your house. Their website is: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/aging/abuse.htm Either that, or you should start calling the police every time you are in an abusive situation with her. Aside from getting yourself some immediate help and relief with your physical issues, you will also be building up a case against her in the event that you do go through with the divorce. I am certain you are aware that your physical condition will only deteriorate further and if you get some assistance from the Division of aging NOW then you will have a system in place for when your wife is gone from your life and you will have to make some decisions for long term care. Regarding your specific questions above, I will answer them in the order that you presented them above:
1. Is there an advantage on filing 1st? Generally, the answer to this question is "NO" but if you are going to cite physical and mental cruelty as the reasons for the divorce then you should probably file first and cite the several instances where she has done harmful things to you and the fact that you was hospitalized for these behaviors 14 years ago. It may give you a bit of an advantage to show the judge immediately why you want out of this marriage and with your condition you do not need the stress of a lengthy trial here (the judge should be made aware of that fact by a letter from a doctor).
-2. Are you very knowledgeable of divorce laws in NC? Yes - I am an experienced practitioner on the entire east coast and worked for a large firm with other lawyers on several NC divorces. Family and divorce law is not much different from state to state -- even in the so called "community property" states where everyone thinks things are vastly different -- they are not. NC is not a community property state which means that neither of you are responsible for the others bills that were incurred in separate names during the marriage and the marital property is typcially split 50/50 between the parties for anything accumulated during the marriage so long as the marriage was longer than 10 years. In your situation, she will be entitled to half the value of the house and you will be entitled to a bit more than half the value of the business (although the business is technically in her name because your licenses are used to run it and you started it, you will be able to show that you are the real owner of the business)-- because the business was established 15 years before you met her, you will be able to claim a larger portion of the business proceeds if the business is sold (given your illness you may want to sell it at this time in order to get the divorce finalized as well).
-Is Military disability monthly pay "off limits" in spousebeing able to receive as alimony payment?Is SS disability monthly off limits as far as alimony ?
3 &4 --Both disability payments can be considered as part of your income for alimony payment purposes (sorry) -- however, because she has the capacity to work (and she voluntarily quit her last job) and your illness will only get worse, you may be able to get a lawyer to successfully argue that she should not receive alimony OR if she gets alimony that it should only be rehabilitative alimony -- enough to assist her to move out of the house and find another job on her own (such alimony is usually limited to 3-5 years after the end of the marriage).
-5. With my spouse owning 100% of the company, that is operated under my license, would my spouse be obligated to pay me for me for anything in a divorce settlements? I answered that earlier -- so long as you can show you started the business and run it and she really has nothing to do with it, you can ask for the bulk of the value of the business to be awarded to you (I believe that a court is going to give her a percentage of it, but your lawyer should fight to keep it around 20% and not a full 50% -- reasoning that she simply does not deserve it and the only reason it was in her name is XXXXX XXXXX security income limits purposes).
-6. In your opinion, what would most judge do? in all of the above questions? Obviously, no one knows what a judge will do for sure with any of this -- but you should hire a lawyer to do this for you because you are simply not going to be able to do this yourself (medically speaking) and your lawyer should ask to limit the amount she gets from the business to less than 50% and that if any alimony is going to be awarded that she be limited to a short duration of time after the marriage because she is capable of working and you are not capable of working (first, your lawyer should push for NO alimony for the reason that you truly cannot earn a living anymore).
-7. Is property tax values used in apprased value of real estate, or isan appraiser brought in? Fair market value using an appraiser will be used.
-8. Who would pay for the appraisal if needed? Typically this is split 50/50.
-9. In your opinion is arbitration a better remedy, or before a judge in my case? In my opinion I think that this divorce is going to cause you a lot of stress that you do not medically need which may lead you to agree to things in an arbitration or a mediation that you may not want to agree to or that are against your better interests and I think that if a Judge hears this entire story (and you can substantiate the abuse with a report from the Elder Services Dept or the police or you have a restraining order on her) then you may get a better deal from a judge and you will end up paying very little, if any, alimony.
I hope this helps. You need to contact a family law / divorce attorney as soon as possible and you can find one by contacting your local county bar association and asking them for several referrals -- tell them your situation and they may be able to find someone who will visit you at your house if need be. You can find the county bar association on line or in the telephone book. And I cannot stress enough that you will be much better off if you can substantiate the abuse you have suffered with reports from elder agencies and/or the police.
Please let me know if you have any further questions -- if not canyou please press the THIRD, FOURTH or FIFTH smile or star below so that I will be paid for my time. I am paid nothing unless you press the 3rd face or star OR the 4th face or star OR the 5th face or star below. This is not a hobby for me -- it is how I earn a living so I appreciate it when my customers press thecorrect button below so I will be paid for my time. THANK YOU !!
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