Practice Area: Divorce
Court: Court of Appeals of North Carolina
Case No.: COA06-188 (Unpublished opinion)

Alexander & Doyle, P.A. attorneys Ann-Margaret Alexander and Andrea Nyren Doyle represented the Plaintiff-Appellee in the NC Court of Appeals divorce case between Coleman v. Coleman.

The case involved appealing the judgments made by the divorce trial court, including factors typically found in a NC divorce, such as:

Case Summary

Mr. Coleman, through his attorney (Alexander & Doyle, P.A.), filed for an absolute divorce on November 23, 2006 alleging that the parties were married on May 23, 1975 and separated on June 1, 2002. Additionally, he alleged that there were no children born of the marriage and that there were “no issues pending between the parties.”

On December 18, 2003 Ms. Coleman, filing without an attorney, filed an answer and counterclaim admitting the allegations of the complaint, except Plaintiff’s representation that there were no pending issues. Defendant specifically denied such allegation and further answered by alleging that the parties had a “long term verbal agreement” by which Plaintiff had agreed to “pay certain household bills and financial obligations of both parties, including, but not limited to, mortgage payment, second mortgage payment, cable bill, and car insurance.” Defendant further alleged that Plaintiff had been making such payments since the parties separated.

In addition, Defendant filed a counterclaim, consisting of the following pertinent paragraphs:

1. Defendant hereby requests and reserves the right for equitable distribution.
2. Defendant hereby requests alimony payments from Plaintiff in the amount of $1500.00 per month․

WHEREFORE, Defendant prays judgment of the Court as follows:

2. Defendant be granted the request to reserve the right for equitable distribution;
3.  Plaintiff be ordered to pay Defendant alimony payments in the amount of $1500.00 per month[.]

March 12, 2004 the Court granted Mr. Coleman his divorce by summary judgment motion. The court’s judgment included a finding that “all valid and timely filed claims are preserved by the Court.” On March 18, 2004 Mr. Coleman filed a Reply to Ms. Coleman’s counterclaims, generally denying the allegations and moving to dismiss her counterclaim “for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

On January 20, 2005 Ms. Coleman filed a motion to amend her prior Answer and counterclaim. The motion to dismiss and motion to amend were heard on September 23, 2005. The trial court dismissed both of Ms. Coleman’s claims.

The Results

The Court of Appeals of North Carolina held that Ms. Coleman’s claim for Equitable Distribution had been properly pled, but that she failed to properly plead her claim for Alimony.

View the full case details and legalese on

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