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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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My ex-husband and I started a church in our livingroom. It

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My ex-husband and I started a church in our livingroom. It has now grown to over 2500 adult members. He divorced me 4-26-12 "because I had not been supportive". Shocked after 33 years of marriage, I found out that it was really another woman. I am floored, pennilless, and in the process of being homeless because he was the sole income provider. He has allowed the house to go into foreclosure and I must move out soon. I am unemployed and have not worked outside of the home, except to help at the church office since 2000 when he and the board told me to come home from my job. I had carried the insurance and worked until he grew the ministy. We have 3 minor children. I want to know if I have any claim to the church? I know that it is a 5013C, but I did sacrifice quite a bit of my life to establish it. Or can I sue the church?
In what state did this occur?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I am in the state of North Carolina.

Under NC law as you both started this business enterprise, even though it is a non-profit, you are entitled to an equitable share of the church. This means that any actual income made off of the church would be divided by the court equitably, which does not necessarily mean equally, but you will have to prove your input into building this enterprise. You will also be entitled to your equitable share of the other marital property, which means that the court starts with the presumption that the property will be divided at least equally or as close to equal as possible.

The fact you quit working and devoted yourself to this ministry, would be the reason the court would look to make sure you receive at least an your share of the ministry or give you a greater share of the marital property to compensate for giving your husband the ministry.

Unfortunately, you do not have any claim against the church itself for anything, your claim is only against your husband and to seek to divide the marital property between the two of you. This means you can receive spousal support based on your needs and if you have custody of the children you would receive child support as well. Furthermore, if they have been covering your insurance through the church, the court can also order that the church or your husband continue paying your insurance.


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I hope you found my answer helpful, but please understand that if you did not get all of the information you may have wanted PLEASE USE THE REPLY TO EXPERT LINK IF YOU HAVE FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS AND NOT THE FEEDBACK BUTTON FOR BAD SERVICE. PLEASE CLICK ON “OK,” “GOOD” or “EXCELLENT” SERVICE. Kindly remember to ONLY rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate anything less than OK, please stop and reply to me via the or REPLY TO EXPERT button with whatever issue or clarification you may need.

I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

PLEASE NOTE WELL, LEGAL ANSWERS TAKE MORE THAN “MINUTES” TO PUT TOGETHER AS WE ARE DEALING WITH LAWS OF 50 STATES PLUS FEDERAL LAWS, AS WELL AS DEALING WITH OTHER CUSTOMERS, SO PLEASE BE PATIENT IT WILL BE MORE THAN “MINUTES” IN SOME CASES BEFORE YOU GET A RESPONSE, BUT BE ASSURED YOU ARE NOT BEING IGNORED.

There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.

You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-paulmjd/ or beginning your question with “For PaulMJD…”

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do I need a separate Real Estate attorney to prove that I had input into building this enterprise? The reason that I asked, is because the Family Law attorney's that I've spoken with were not sure about legalities of the property.

You would likely need a real estate attorney to untangle the property ownership and how the division of the property in the marital estate would work.
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