The Plaintiff is the person who files the divorce. The Defendant may want to answer the divorce and request their maiden name if they desire a name change. The Defendant should also answer the divorce with a counterclaim for alimony and equitable distribution in the event that these issues are not already pending or resolved in a separation agreement. If they are not handled prior to the divorce, you can lose your right to file for alimony or equitable distribution. Best of luck!
Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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.