I have been legally separated from my wife since October 2011. My wife took me to court for this. An equitable distribution order was finalized two years ago. She received $42,000, the house and car. I have been living in Japan since April of 2012. I have tried to have her send me divorce papers but she claims that I need to be in NC for this and that I will have to pay alimony. The court documents never mentioned or ordered alimony. My wife has a masters degree and has always worked. I never finished college and have always worked as well. My question is do I need to go back to the USA to move forward with the divorce? And if there is alimony wouldn’t the court have ordered this? What basic starting points can you provide me?
Alimony is a separate legal action from Equitable Distribution and Absolute Divorce. A spouse has a right to file a law suit seeking alimony as long as you have not obtained an absolute divorce. Once you have a divorce judgement signed, the alimony claim is lost, but until then she has the ability to file for alimony.
You can only get divorced in North Carolina if either you or your spouse has lived in North Carolina for at least six months before you file.