Issues, issues


Dear LetItBurn:

WOW. First, let me answer the most important question you have asked - “can I go to court without an attorney.” Do you go to surgery without a physician? Then why would you go to court on such difficult issues such as equitable distribution without an attorney? You can do whatever you want, but no, I would never tell any person to go to court alone.

Yes, you can get back the child support for the past year AS LONG AS the child support claim was filed properly. You can get child support from the date of filing the child support claim and you can get actual expenses back for your children’s expenses if they arose before the child support claim was filed.

It sounds like you have a house with marital equity, a vehicle, children, possible alimony, etc. This is not something to shrug off lightly. If you do not handle the equitable distribution and alimony issues prior to the date of the divorce, you may lose those rights entirely.

My suggestion, though it may not be a happy one, is that you hire an attorney - you may have to borrow the fees, but you can always ask the judge to award your attorney fees back to you. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


Here are the basics - Ex left & asked for a divorce on 1-1-04 in Gaston County. He lived in our home (I voluntarily left so I could move in w/my parents for help w/my newborn twins). I took our car (OK with him). We tried to do a Sep. Agrmt., but he wouldn’t agree to various items. Thought we were OK with everything but CS. Went to court for temp CS & was sent to mediation because he suddenly didn’t agree on our custody/visitation we had put in the separation agreement - which he never signed. Mediation produced a parenting agreement. He tried getting 123 nights to avoid higher support but the agreement clearly states I have sole custody & he has visitation. Anyway, his lawyer never filed anything further. Mine went to another firm (I couldn’t afford the retainer so I had to relieve her) so nothing has happened on my end. I thought things were done in Gaston. I filed a case w/Meck County CS Enforcement as I live here & I got a court date. Found out yesterday they kicked it over to Gaston due to pending equit. dist. & child support claims. I wasn’t aware we had these items pending. Apparently, due to the complaint my ex’s atty filed last Jan. that is what the problem is. Ex wants me to agree to a worksheet that his atty draws up - I asked to go to court & let judge decide. I think he feels he won’t owe back CS for the past year or so if we avoid court. I won’t agree to that. Would he owe back support & would the judge order it? He hasn’t contributed to their upbringing except visitation. I have several thousand $'s in med bills for them that I pay for & have asked for his help but he never helps. I also found out, by accident & not from him, that he stopped paying the mortgage, moved out of the home & is living w/his girlfriend in a place they got together (not sure if they bought or are renting) [:(!]. Anyway, can his atty file for ED & I’ll let CSE file for CS? If they do that filing for ED - can I go to court without an atty? Also, is he negligent in any way for not informing me that our home was being foreclosed upon? The mtg co. sent the notices to our home so I obviously no longer receive mail from there. When I found out, I called the mtg co & tried to find a solution besides foreclosure, but it looks as if that is my only option. Also, is it legal for him to live with another woman while we are still legally married (his atty did file a complaint last Jan. so I’m not sure if that alleviates that problem). Thanks so much.