Help! I'm stuck and I can't get unstuck

If there has been no marital misconduct, alimony can be requested by either party and is based on the amount of money that is made. It has nothing to do with child support, custody or equitable distribution.

Do not stop paying child support. I suggest that you figure a fair amount and pay that every month. Keep records of those payments.
Child support is based on the guidelines for NC and you can run the calculator on the main site here to see what that amount would be. If your stbx files for child support through the state, it’s possible they could request records of payments made since the date of separation…
I suggest working out a schedule that works for your children and sticking to that rather than what will aggrivate or affect your stbx. Child support is based on the # of overnights that the child(ren) spend with each parent, their income, and other things. It has nothing to do with the marital estate or anything else. Child support, child custody, equitable distribution and alimony are separate issues to the courts.

If your stbx is threatening you with finacial ruin, I suggest that you first get a recorder on your phone. Conversations between you and your stbx can be recorded and used in court in NC as long as one of you know that it is being recorded. Then I suggest that you consult an attorney. You have been separated for over the one year one day requirement and can legally file for absolute divorce even without a separation agreement if you can’t agree. A claim for equitable distribution could be put in with the stipulation that the equity at the time of separation ($x) will be divided when the home is sold or by certain date.
Just some suggestions.

Thank you stepmother.

Is there a definition of what marital misconduct is or is it more of subjective judgement call as to what is and what isn’t marital misconduct.

"“Marital misconduct” means any of the following acts that occur during the marriage and prior to or on the date of separation:

a. Illicit sexual behavior. For the purpose of this section, illicit sexual behavior means acts of sexual or deviate sexual intercourse, deviate sexual acts, or sexual acts defined in G.S. 14-27.1(4), voluntarily engaged in by a spouse with someone other than the other spouse;

b. Involuntary separation of the spouses in consequence of a criminal act committed prior to the proceeding in which alimony is sought;

c. Abandonment of the other spouse;

d. Malicious turning out-of-doors of the other spouse;

e. Cruel or barbarous treatment endangering the life of the other spouse;

f. Indignities rendering the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome;

g. Reckless spending of the income of either party, or the destruction, waste, diversion, or concealment of assets;

h. Excessive use of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome;

i. Willful failure to provide necessary subsistence according to one’s means and condition so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome."

There are 16 factors listed for alimony. You can find them by going to the top of this page, mouse over “Alimony/Support” and look under statutes. Marital misconduct is not subjective. If you can show proof of any of these if alimony is asked for or is called into question, then your stbx has no claim.

I would not recommend reducing any child support payments because that can have future long term negative consequences on child support. If you take any action that causes her to lose her job it may have negative financial consequences for you in the future. If the two of you have been negotiating and cannot reach a resolution, then the next step may be to file a lawsuit and allow the court to help move you towards a resolution. At a minimum, you should consult with an attorney if you have not already done so.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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I am locked in a go nowhere separation. Separated almost two years now and no separation agreement.