Divorce or child custody


I need advice on the best course of action for my situation. I was married in December of '08 to a man that I never should have married in the first place. However, at the time we both thought we were doing the right thing because I am pregnant (about 6 months now). We do not get along at all and both want to end this marriage. The problems: he is a resident alien who has lived in the U.S. since the eighties and I am a U.S. citizen. We have never lived together as man and wife, but I own a home and he does not. Also, I live in NC and he lives in VA. He is more than able to provide support for this child financially and I will need the financial help. My question: should I wait until my child is born and go after him for child support first and then seek a divorce, or should I immediately get the ball rolling and start seeking a divorce now? A friend says that he might be applying for U.S. citizenship status as we speak, and if that’s the case, I do not want him to get that benefit from being married to me.


You must wait until the child is born prior to seeking child support, you may pursue child support at anytime as it is not related to the divorce.
You cannot file for divorce until you have been living separate and apart for one year and one day. There is no way to speed this process up. Normally the immigration folks will ensure a marriage is legitimate and intact before awarding any new status based on the marriage.


Thank you for responding. 2 more questions: when we do divorce, will he have any rights to a claim on my home? I purchased it on my own three years ago and the deed is in my name only. We have never lived together as man and wife. Also, would a divorce filed using abandonment on his part apply and could it be done sooner? (someone told me this might work).


Your spouse has no rights to the home, it is your separate property and it is not subject to equitable distribution.
The only way you can obtain a divorce in North Carolina in this situation is by waiting the designated year and one day. North Carolina is a no fault divorce state, which means you cannot get a divorce based on abandonement.


Thank you so much for your advice. It definitely gives me peace of mind regarding my house. From what you say, I guess it’s best to focus on pursuing child support soon after the baby is born, and I guess it won’t be such a hardship to wait out the year and 1 day since we don’t live together. Thanks again!