Porter v. Porter (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-085-17, 29 pp.) (Donna Stroud, J.) Appealed from New Hanover County District Court (Melinda Crouch, J.) N.C. App.
Holding: Although the parties agreed that the plaintiff-husband would be unable to pay the $348,050 distributive award immediately or even within six years, when the trial court set out a 15-year payment schedule, the court should have made it clear (1) that the husband would be allowed to pre-pay the balance if he could, (2) why the court chose an eight-percent interest rate, and (3) whether the husband had the ability to make the payments ordered.
We affirm the equitable distribution order in part, reverse in part, and remand.
Even though the husband’s initial investment in Rugworks, LLC, was $50,000 of his separate property, since he worked at Rugworks full time during the parties’ marriage, and since he presented no evidence of any passive appreciation of Rugworks, the trial court did not err in classifying the husband’s interest in Rugworks – less $50,000 – as marital property.