Custody, Separation, or Divorce-Where do I start?

Dear The Mommy:

Immediately file for child support with the Child Support Enforcement Agency. Then next you can file an action for child custody, if you still need the saame.

You may also want to file claims for post separation support, alimony, and equitable distribution. Thank you and good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


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.

I’m very confused, and don’t know where to start.

I’ve been separated 1 yr and a few months from husband, due to increasing bipolar issues, out of control spending, increasing violence, etc. We have a beautiful daughter who’ll be 3 in Jan.
He wouldn’t agree to sep. agreement I pd $700 to draw up. I worked my butt off and borrowed money from parents to condition house and sell it and now I’m living with them. I got rid of that debt, actually had to bring $81 to closing, and no thanks from him.
I thought I’d file for child support, thru the state, with the house out of the way (he threatened to file bankruptcy and stick me with everything).
I need: custody, child support, and a divorce.
He’s living with a new girl friend, with 3 young boys of her own.
He’s not paying a dime for his daughter, and quit asking to see her.
I have people with the state who’ve confirmed his salary, plus my own company, and he does ok (at least he has a job now).
I’ve always made more, but b/c he’d get a job and quit. Get another and quit. Etc, etc.
I won’t get a heck of a lot, according to the child support calculator, but even a few hundred would help pay towards the $800/mo in daycare.
I make too much to qualify for assistance, but I dont’ make enough to pay the monthly bills he’s left me to pay for over a year, plus daycare. I had to sell my home and homeless b/c of this (thank god for parents taking me in).
What should I do first? I filed a few days ago for child support thru the state. The case worker there told me I should really have custody established first, so he won’t retaliate by trying to take her.
I went back to my attorney, who said we could do a Consent for Custody (?), for about $1000. The problem lies in whether or not he’d sign to that.
Then, I have to file for divorce and equitable distribution of the $49K of unsecured debt he helped rack up more than 1/2 of, but that I’m only asking for him to pay 1/2 of.
My parents tell me to get another attorney.
I don’t know what to do.
PLUS … he’s having sex with the new girlfriend, and we’re not divorced yet … (personally, I"m glad, b/c he’s quit stalking me for now). And, he reeked of pot at our closing, so he’s still doing drugs (trying to self-medicate), and I don’t want my daughter to be exposed to that type of lifestyle. He says I’m being judgemental.