Ambiguity of Payments Toward Debt in North Carolina Divorce

It isn’t always clear where a debt comes from, or where payments come from, and Cushman v. Cushman, 781 S.E.2d 499 (N.C. App., 2016) earlier in 2016 explains:

…given that it was defendant’s burden to produce evidence on this issue, we will not remand for the taking of additional evidence. This Court has long held that where the party claiming the property, here a debt, to be marital has failed in his burden to present evidence from which the trial court can classify, value and distribute the property, that party cannot on appeal claim error when the trial court fails to classify the property as marital and distribute it…. Furthermore, remanding the matter for the taking of new evidence, in essence granting the party a second opportunity to present evidence, ‘would only protract the litigation and clog the trial courts with issues which should have been disposed of at the initial hearing.’ Miller, 97 N.C.App. at 80, 387 S.E.2d at 184 (quoting In re Marriage of Smith, 114 Ill.App.3d 47, 69 Ill.Dec. 827, 448 N.E.2d 545, 550 (1983)).

In cases of Marital Debt, it is clear that a party needs to clarify where the debt is coming from, and what is expected of the party with that debt.

Marital Debt is not going away, and perhaps it will continue to be an increasing part of our cases in Family Law. It is vital that you check yourself before jumping into the fray of a divorce proceeding—especially as to the specific debts set forth above.