Absolute Divorce Question

I have been seperated for 11 years. My spouse refused to negotiate or sign a seperation agreement. I have been residing in the house and paying the mortage (in my name) with my four sons and no spousal or child support. If I file for absolute divorce, will he have any claim on the house? I also have a 401k through my job. If the absolute divorce is granted, will he have any claim on my 401k?

If the divorce is granted before he files a counterclaim for Equitable Distribution he will lose the rights to your 401(k) and any other account that is in your sole name. As for the house, if the same is distributed under Equitable Distribution, he is entitled only to half the value as it is existed when you separated, if you do not make a claim for ED, the house will remain jointly owned, and you run the risk of him attempting to force a sale and get half the value of the home at present day value.

We should always keep in mind that if child support orders aren’t established in your divorce or separation papers, problems can occur if the non-custodial parent fails to live up to a verbal agreement. To make support payments enforceable, you need a child support order that is filed with the court. This is a document which states when, how often, and how much support will be paid.

I assume by “half the value” we are talking about the equity in the house at the time of separation. We only had the house 3 years before separating. The mortgage is in my name and I have made all the payments.

Yes, half the equity. You may be entitled to a credit for one half of the principal reduction on the mortgage that you have paid since the date of separation as well.

I am going for the hearing for my absolute divorce tomorrow. My spouse has not filed an answer to my complaint or for ED. At least, I have not been notified of a filing. Can he do anything to prevent the granting of the divorce at this point?

He should not be able to delay the divorce, so long as he was properly served, given 30 days to respond, and notice of the hearing the divorce should be granted.