After answering complaint for divorce

received your contact information from NC Advocates for Justice free legal help database.
I recently Received a copy of
complaint from husband’s attorney, for absolute divorce and for him to keep all marital property. I was surprised at all of this, the court date was only a week after I received this, I had no money for an attorney and had no idea what any of it meant. I went to the court hearing and it was for restraining order only. I have been the dependant spouse throughout our 22 year marriage and I moved out when we separated because I couldn’t pay mortgage. I came up with enough to speak with an attorney and she filled out the answers to the complaint and added counterclaim for equitable distribution of home, retirement pension and 401k, also post-separation support and alimony. I filed with the court and delivered copy to his attorney. A week later received a reply from his attorney, denying all. Last week received a court date of May 6 for uncontested absolute divorce. I am so lost as to what I am supposed to do. Will the judge look at the counterclaim at the divorce hearing or am I supposed to be doing that separate. I am trying to sell my trailer that I live in so I can pay an attorney because I don’t want to lose my rights to equitable distribution. But I don’t know how long I have. Thank you for any information you can provide. Sincerely, Jennifer Brown

It sounds like your rights and interests are adequately protected at this time.

The court date you have on 5/6 sounds like it is only for the absolute divorce. This is simply the court date where the judge will sign a judgment officially dissolving and ending the marriage.

As long as you have a claim for equitable distribution pending at the time the absolute divorce judgment is entered, which you do because you filed a counterclaim for equitable distribution, then all of your rights and interests in the marital property are preserved for further hearing. Unless the equitable distribution issue is also on the court docket along with the issue of absolute divorce, the judge will not address any of the equitable distribution/marital property issues. This would be done at a separate court date.

Before there can be a court date for equitable distribution, the parties will typically exchange equitable distribution inventory affidavits which list all of the marital property and marital debt that needs to be divided.

Also, it is common to receive denials for the allegations in your counterclaims.

You can get access to a library of legal forms and communicate with an attorney through our Rosen Online Service. This service only costs $199/month and could be a great resource for you to handle equitable distribution, postseparation support, and alimony without spending thousands of dollars retaining an attorney.

Also, we offer two free Webinars, Divorce Legal and 50 Divorce Tips in 50 Minutes, that you may find very helpful. These webinars will give you lots of information about the divorce process and they are presented multiple times a week.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

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Thank you so much for explaining it, I was so stressed and lost not knowing.