He won't sign separation papers, I just want out

So my husband and i “separated” summer of 2012. I moved out and moved to VA on July 1, 2012. He initially said he wanted to separate in early June 2012. I had separation papers and he refuses to sign. we have no kids together and I am not looking for any money, or property; he can have it all, I just want out and to be divorced.

Since he refuses to sign the papers as of july 2, 2013 can I still file for divorce? Do i need proof that I moved out on July 2nd? All I want is for this marriage to be over and done. Since I live in VA are there different rules that apply? I know VA is also a “no fault” state so that helps I think. I assume once I do get divorce papers he will refuse to sign those as well, anything I can do about that?

Basically I want a divorce and he can keep everything, I don’t care at this point. I live in VA and he is in NC. What are my options or routes to go about doing so? I’d really like some help on resolving this.

oh, and if I am able to file for divorce this summer do I have to wait another year for my divorce decree or can it all be finalized this summer once either he signs the papers or I do a Service of Process by Publication?


Not an attorney

You do not have to have a separation agreement to file for divorce. It helps in finalizing property settlements, alimony, and child support/visitation, but it is not a requirement. NC is no-fault and the only requirement to file in NC is that you’ve lived separate and apart one year and one day or insanity. He cannot stop the divorce. However, you are no longer a resident of NC so not sure if you can file in NC. You might have to live here 6 months prior to filing I believe.

Again, I can only speak for NC, not VA, but no, you wouldn’t have to wait another year. Once you file (if you can in NC) he has 30 days to respond I believe. He can ask for a continuance of 30 days to respond, or if he doesn’t respond, the court will calendar it and on that date, the judge would enter a decree of divorce. So depending on the response and the court calendar, I’d expect 30 to 90 days after filing. Can’t speak for VA.

Yes, you will need to proof that you established a residence somewhere else if both you and your husband do not attest/agree in the divorce to your date of separation. Usually utility bills or a lease in your name is sufficient.

A separation agreement is not a requirement, but if do not have an agreement that handles any property and support issues finalized or an action for support and/or equitable distribution pending at the time the divorce is granted, you lose your right to those claims. Specifically in your situation, that means that property and debt will be distributed as titled.

If the date of separation is questioned, you will need to present evidence of the date to the judge for a determination.

There are lots of different mechanisms for service, but you should try a sheriff before publication.

To file in NC, at least one party must be a resident of the state for at least 6 months. You may also be able to file in VA depending upon their statutes, and you should talk to an attorney there for more information.

this is great news!

VA is a “no fault” state as well so at the 1 year and 1 day mark with evidence I should be able to file it looks like!

You were saying that without separation papers debt and and property will be distributed as titled meaning anything in my name is mine and his name is his? Say both of our names are on a car lien or even a business what would happen with those?

thank you so much again for all your help!

Not an Attorney

Car liens and home mortgages are mostly unaffected by agreements anyway. While property deeds or titles are often conveyed to one party or the other via Quit Claims, the liens and mortgages are up to the responsibility of the two parties to have them refinanced in one name only. So, as far as your car lien, you will both still be responsible for payment to the bank, and no separation agreement will release you of that responsibility. The bank still holds the title on the car. Whoever ends up with the car should refinance it in his/her name only.

As for business, you should definitely consult an attorney…too many variables I imagine to recommend a course of action.

If debts and titles are in both parties names, then both parties have an equal right to them. Take for instance a jointly titled car with a loan. If you pay the loan down, then the car will belong equally to both you and your spouse, even though your spouse did nothing to decrease the debt on the property. You need a sseparation agreement that says who gets the property and who is responsible for paying the debt.