Divorce help with no money

After 20 years of marriage, my husband and I have decided to divorce. I have been a stay-at-home mother for the past 10 years or so. He is the primary bread winner. We have separated, but we do not have a formal/legal agreement drawn up. Is a legal separation required for a divorce to take place, even if we have been separated for the required year? He has physically assaulted our oldest child, for which a case was opened with DSS. Due to this and other factors, my middle daughter tried to commit suicide twice. She was hospitalized, then sent to a psychiatric residential facility. He provides no support except for spending time with our youngest daughter. I have been trying to find a job and have not been able to find anything. I am a full-time college student. I did go to social services and was able to get Medicaid and food assistance. Due to the physical altercation and open DSS case, we were approved for a Section 8 voucher. Which is another problem, trying to finding a suitable home for myself and my girls. We need to be free of this man, but in my current situation, I cannot afford an attorney. I do not want anything from him, except what is due to my children. My children are with me in our marital home, which he has vacated. (He is going to sell it) He visits and spends time with our youngest but does not speak or see the other two. I am in a terrible situation. After giving my life to this man for 20 years, I have nothing to show for it but my three beautiful daughters. No money, no savings, no property, nothing. Everything is in his name. Which is fine, because I just want to move on and live my life, fresh start for my girls and I. What can I do? Is there help for someone like me? Thank you for your time.

In NC you are considered separated if you and your husband have been living continuously physically separate and apart with the intent to remain permanently separate and apart. There are no documents that need to be executed or filed to show this or to effectuate a “legal separation.”

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Anna Ayscue

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

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