How to define separation


understand much better than before


You do not have to sign any formal document to be considered separated in North Carolina.

You are considered separated if you and your spouse live in separate residences and if one of you separated with the intent to remain separate and apart.


My wife and I had been married in Honolulu in 2003. In 2004 we moved from Washington State to North Carolina. Wife was born in NC. In August 2015, my wife called me at my work and said she was never coming home to me again. In end of January 2016, I moved to Federal Way, Washington at my wifes suggestion as my son lived there and grandaughter did also. In September (approximate) I moved back to North Carolina. On November 7, 2016 I was given a Civil Summons by a Sherrifs Deputy and a Complaint (DIVR) shown as “First Claim For Relief - Absolute Divorce”

It states the Parties lived as man and wife until or about August 1, 2015.and never resumed their marital relationship. My wife has moved out and refuses to visit me to discuss what happened and why. She would never come talk to me and would never even look at me. I also found out on or about November 18, that my wife was living with another male person, presumably as man and wife.

Do I have any hope or recourse to solve the problem. We first met n late 1998 and had been together since then, getting married in Hawaii, and moving to North Carolina in 2004 after I retired in Washington. She also has a vehicle, titled n both our names, that she refuses to allow me to use or see it. She states it is hers because she made payments while I was gone to Washington. The title shows Timothy L. Minnich as owner and Michelle Minnich as spouse. She also stated, after extensive questions and E-Mails that she was living with another party. She refuses to tell me who it is.

What can I do?


You should file a counterclaim for equitable distribution, which is the division of the marital property. Note that you have 30 days from the day you were served with the complaint to file an answer and counterclaim with the court.

With a few exceptions, marital property is assets (and debts) acquired during the marriage (between the date of marriage and the date of separation). Each spouse is generally entitled to a 50% share of the marital estate. The vehicle you refer to is likely marital property.

It is very important that you file with the court your claim for equitable distribution prior to the absolute divorce being granted. This is because once the absolute divorce is granted, you are barred from ever asking the court to equitably divide the marital property.