I need to know what steps I should take and any rights I have. My spouse left me for a younger woman after 18 years and I have no income to support myself. I cannot afford an atty; however, we own property in Timberlake NC and Roxboro NC and personal property in Kingston NC where we have lived in a rental home for years now. Am I responsible for his belongings left in our bldg or in our home that he did not take? Can I get alimony? How do I go about this? I will have to move out of the rental home and probably in with my brother in SC. Can I pack up my stuff and leave the rental home as he has left? How do I go about dividing our stuff or do I have to since he walked out and left most everything. How do I get my share of our real property? I do not know the steps to proceed. Please advise. (My sister in law wrote this request for me). Thank you for your time and information.
The first thing you should do is to consult an attorney. You are entitled to 1/2 the marital assets and this includes bank accounts, savings accounts, retirement funds, property. Usually a consultation fee is minimal and if there is an equitable distribution hearing, your spouse could be responsible for your attorney fees since he left without notice. If you are a dependant spouse then you would be entitled to alimony.
The belongings that he left are probably considered marital property, for the most part and therefore are to be divided.
I’m not certain about moving. Are you living in a rental property that you own or are you renting from someone else? Both your names should be on the lease if you are renting from someone else. If you own the property and are living there instead of renting it out, then it is considered a marital property, the value of which can be divided.
Consulting an attorney will set you on the right track of what to expect next, get the process of a separation agreement started so that you can get what is necessary for you to live and that includes alimony, and let you know where you stand with the property.
You need to file an action for Equitable Distribution, Post Separation Support, and Alimony. As a dependant spouse you are entitled to receive support from your husband, and as an adulterer and supporting spouse he must pay. You are also very likely to get a portion of your attorney’s fees awarded to you (your spouse could be ordered to pay them) for the time your attorney spends on the alimony and post separation portion of your case.
As far as the belongings go, you need to ensure the marital estate (property) is maintained, in other words do not destroy or throw his things out, though I can see the temptation there, it will come back to haunt you.
All of the property will be dealt with by the courts in your claim for Equitable Distribution. You are entitled to and will receive one half (or more) of the value of everything the two of you own.
You need to meet with an attorney as soon as possible to protect your interests in the property and to get support payments started.