Abandonment


#1

After almost a year of separation, my wife claims to have a lawyer and I am being served for abandonment. I have not received any papers yet. After many years I left because she was becoming a danger to me. She has been smoking and burning holes in the carpet now for about five years. She has been in rehab for alcohol. Before that she was on cocaine, and after the alcohol she was on pot. I have tried to be patient over the years with her addictions and could not take any more. Has now been on disability and now legally, heavy drugs (fibromialgia) for 2 years after applying 2 times before in the past. She is so addicted that I had to peel her off the kitchen, bathroom, livingroom table etc…floor at least once a week in the morning on my way to work. No sex for 2 years. (not because she wouldnt but because I didnt want to do it with a drug stuppered person) I went to bed every night wondering if it was gonna be my last…she wouldnt quit smoking and became a danger to me and anyone that stayed with us. I left her a letter and a proposal giving here the two houses. I kept the boat and my car. All house hold assets…furniture and stuff of 14 years marriage for her also. And she keep her car. Assets proposed gave her more monetarily than what I walked away with. Oh she called the police to report me missing…after reading my letter.

  1. was it illegal for her to call police and report me as a missing person?
  2. can she claim abandonment?
  3. I dont want her to come to my residence for anything, am I allowed to provide only a postal box number for our correspondence?
  4. I have no job. She has known for 2 years that I was going to quit my job, will this help me when she files against me for allimony? (we were going to live on the boat, me doing odd jobs from time to time, the whole time in planning she claimed to be weaning herself off drugs) Obviously I changed my mind, fearful she would fall off the boat in the night and then I would be suspect in her disappearence.
  5. Will the court give me any relief, knowing that I gave her both houses…one in wich to live in and the 2nd to rent out for income.

#2

It was not illegal for her to report you missing.
She may allege abandonment as part of an alimony claim, however based on the facts you list you left with just cause, and therefore your departure would not be classified as abandonment.
You do not have to tell her where you reside, and may provide a PO box only.
If you are not working, you may not be considered a supporting spouse who is required to pay alimony. If however the court finds that you are not working as a bad faith attempt to avoid a support obligation, income can be imputed to you for purposes of determining alimony.
The court will consider the property distribution when making a decision with regard to alimony, and if it is awarded, the property distribution can effect the amount and duration of alimony.


#3

Thank you for the fast response.

  1. I am no longer in the state and am concerned that I may not be able to get to the first hearing on time (no money)
  2. is there a way I can extend the date of court hearing
  3. can I just send a response to the allegations directly to her lawyer?

#4

Once you have been served you may file a motion requesting an extension of time to file your answer and counterclaim. The document must be sent to her lawyer and filed with the court. I strongly suggest you consult with an NC attorney to review the documents you are served with before you proceed.