Absolute Divorce


#1

Dear cpp:

Greetings. The “legal” downfalls of divorce are numerous and can vary on a case by case analysis. The main two issues that most people deal with though are that they lose the rights to equitable distribution and alimony when the divorce judgment is entered if they have not resolved the issues prior to the divorce in a separation agreement or filed a complaint requesting alimony.

He can always change his life insurance beneficiary. I would recommend that you get an agreement in a separation agreement for him to keep you as the beneficiary. Yes, divorce affects your rights to his retirement plans by cutting them off. If you need to retain rights to his retirement plan, he can only give you those rights in a separation agreement and later in a QDRO. If he is promising you part of his retirement, he may not be able to keep the promise even if he intends to because the retirement plan has rules it must follow which may not allow him to give you any of the funds. It is best when retirement assets are at issues AT ALL for you to speak with an attorney and have them safeguard those for you.

It is unlikely that you can deal with all the issues you have raised in the post by yourself - simply because they are difficult issues. You need a separation agreement. If you lose out on retirement and life insurance, which you thought you bargained for, then the attorney fees will seem small in comparison. Also, if you agree, then you may only need one flat fee attorney to draft everything for you. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

ROSENDIVORCE.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#2

As always thank you! We do have a separation agreement. He has not promised me anything pertaining to his retirement and honestly I fully believe that it is his…he worked for it. I was just wondering. We have agreed that I will remain the beneficiary on his life insurance until at whatever point he would remarry and the same goes for me…that way we would both have a little bit of money to help the other support our son if we should pass away. As far as the equitable distribution and alimony…we really do not have anything to divide up. We settled most everything in the separation agreement and I have obtained a new loan for the car that was in his name. There is no need for alimony and we are in agreement of custody and I will not be asking for any child support. I know that sounds crazy, but we really are a unique couple and I trust him to make sure that our son is taken care of. I just wanted to make sure that an absolute divorce did not cut me off from ever going back for child support if ever it is not working out as agreeed upon.

I looked at your fee chart and it was quoted as an initial fee of $300 and then a larger amount depending on the case. We really do not have that amount of money. I think I fell comfortable filling out the “do it yourself divorce” for the time being and then if I need further assistance in the future I would come to your office for assistance.

Thank you so much!


#3

Dear cpp:

Greetings. First, without any disrespect meant in any way, you are not a unique couple. Many of my clients agree at the time of hiring us. Some of my clients come in after the divorce realizing that good intentions were not enough and that new boyfriends, girlfriends, children, or other circumstances can arise and make good intentions fail. Remember that the separation agreement should contain EVERYTHING that needs to be agreed upon before divorce. If it does not, you may find the costs greater than if you hired an attorney prior to the divorce. At a minimum, you should have everything reviewed by an attorney. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

ROSENDIVORCE.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#4

Janet, I’m so confused about something. My ex and I have been living apart since the first of July. I retained my attorney in September and he didn’t retain his until November. We still don’t have a signed separation agreement and according to the law we could be divorced in July 2005. How does that work with PSS, ED, and CS if July rolls around and we still haven’t resolved anything? Any clarification would be so appreciated! Thanks!


#5

Dear soccermom27021:

Greetings. You have some grounds to be concerned. If you don’t have a signed separation agreement prior to the date of the divorce, you will need to file litigation to ensure that your rights to alimony and equitable distribution are preserved. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

ROSENDIVORCE.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#6

I thought I should be concerned and you would think that he would be too because we all know how expensive litigation will be if it comes to that.
I received his answer to my complaint in the mail yesterday. I am so upset that I can hardly stand it. It’s full of so many lies and inaccuracies. How can he say that I am the one that abandoned the marital home and him when I am the one still living in it and he was the one that moved out? How can he say in one sentence that I am a fit & proper person and in the next say that it’s not in my daughter’s best interest for me to have sole custody? How can he say that I have committed acts of marital misconduct without telling me what they are? I just don’t get it…at all…waiting for my attorney to email me back with answers.
My question is this: What is the next step after the answer is filed? I can’t let his answer go UNanswered by me. Thanks for all of your advice.


#7

Dear soccermom27021:

Greetings. Your next step is to file a reply. In that document, you can counter all of his statements. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

ROSENDIVORCE.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#8

What are the downfalls of an absolute divorce. We are in agreement of everything and I fully believe that he will stand by his word. If I am still the benificiary on life insurance etc. does the absolute divorce effect that. Also, how about retirement plan? Do I loose out on that if we file for an absolute divorce? He is leaveing for Iraq in a couple of months and honestly we do not have the money for an attorney so we are doing the “Do it yourself” divorce and wanted everything to be wrapped up before he leaves.

Thank you so much for all your assistance!