Confused.. Please help


#1

My husband of 4 years abandoned myself and our 3 year old autistic daughter 9 months ago. He cut us off financially and refused to even speak to me. A few months later he out of the blue filed for custody. We attended mediation and discussed my relocation out of state. I have always been a stay at home mom and he worked to support us. Because he cut us off financially and left us with thousands in overdue utility bills, my daughter and I could no longer afford to stay in our home, which I purchased with my own money before we were married and is solely in my name and currently for sale. We were forced to move out of state as I am not from NC and have no family there. I informed the mediator of the situation before we left and offered my husband very liberal visitation despite his history of domestic violence. He refused and I never heard back from him or the mediator, whom I provided this information to in good faith hoping for a civil resolution. I did not suddenly leave unexpectedly, I waited 6 months after he left and cut us off and I could no longer afford to pay our utilities. My daughter and I had no choice other than to become homeless, which was obviously his plan.

My husband knew he was forcing us to leave the state yet waited until after I left to lie to a judge and obtain a custody order. I was never served notice of any hearing, nor has he served me with said order.

He is a narcissict and has no love or concern for our daughter. This whole thing is about him not wanting to pay child support. I applied for child support, he refused to cooperate and had his attorney continue 2 hearings for child support until he got a judge to sign an order in his favor and now of course NC will no longer assist me in with the matter of child support. I should mention that I recieved an email from him a few weeks after he abandoned us stating he would provide us with $1000 per month and he has never done so. I have documented everything since he left; calls to the Sheriff, his threatening calls and messages, all of it.

This man abandoned us as if we never existed, refuses to support our daughter, and refused any and all of my offers of visitation. He has had no contact with us for 9 months now, by his own choice.

I did obtain a restraining order at one point because he began threatening and harassing me once I accepted his silence and no longer begged him to communicate with me. I did not pursue it after several months of his attorney postponing the hearing because at that point I was forced to leave. He is a very sick individual with a history of violence, drugs and alcohol and an extensive arrest record.
Can anyone offer advise on how to handle this type of situation?


#2

You will need to file for postseparation support and alimony and possibly equitable distribution. This will likely need to be filed in NC. Once your custody case is resolved, child support can be modified based on the custody schedule set forth in the permanent custody order.

We offer two free Webinars, Divorce Legal and 50 Divorce Tips in 50 Minutes, that you may find helpful as you work through your separation and divorce. These webinars will give you lots of information about the divorce process and the four areas of separation/divorce (custody, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution) 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.


#3

Apparently my husband obtained a custody order without giving me any proper notice of a hearing. Is this legal? How can the order be valid? And what can I do being out of state.


#4

It’s possible that he obtained an emergency ex parte custody order when you removed your daughter outside of the State of NC. This would have been done without notice to you. However, for it to be effective, he has to serve the complaint/motion and order on you. This is done either by certified mail, sheriff’s deputy, or a valid process server. And whenever an ex parte order is entered, there must be a court date 10 days after it was entered or very soon after you are served so that you are able to present your evidence.

You can contact the clerk’s office in the county in which your husband filed the action and ask them what has been filed in the court file. They may be able to tell you if there is an attorney representing your husband that you could reach out to in an attempt to resolve this issue. Otherwise, if you are not served, then you are not able to have actual notice of the court action and nothing more can be done in the court case until you have proper notice of it.


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.


#5

My volunteer attorney entered an appearance on my behalf and they sent her a copy of the Order and the motion that was filed.
Does that count as me being served?
Shouldn’t she file a motion to set this aside so my new state of residence can assume jurisdiction ?


#6

Your attorney can accept service on your behalf but it does not count as proper service unless the attorney signs a document called an Acceptance of Service and it is filed with the court.

North Carolina will likely remain the state with jurisdiction unless the children have lived in another state for at least 6 months.


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.