I am involved with a man that lives in NC and is currently in the process of divorce. He has been separated (wife moved out) for over a year. He and I did not even know each other when they were together, it was not until about 10 months after she had moved out that we even started talking. I am planning on moving there to live with him. My question is if I do this before his divorce is final and everything is settled is it going to create problems for him? Can his wife use the fact that I am living there against him in the divorce even though we were not involved before? Thank you in advance for your help!
If he has been separated over a year, wait the 30 days until the divorce decree is signed and valid. Most issues like equitable distribution and support can be decided after the divorce is final as long as there is a claim pending in the courts, so it doesn’t have to all be done at once.
There is a law on the books in NC called Criminal Conversation, which basically means that if you have sex with someone whose divorce decree hasn’t been finalized by the courts, then you may be sued as a 3rd party interloper.
Oftentimes laws like this are used as leverage in divorce settlements and separation agreements for one person to exact extra money or conditions out of the other who is cohabiting or sleeping with a 3rd party. So although it won’t affect his ability to divorce, it could affect him financially.
While this really legally doesn’t affect him, it can cost you a lot of time, money, and heartache. It costs a fair amount to prosecute these, a fair amount to defend, and awards can range from small to tens of thousands of dollars.
There is virtually no defense either unless the STBX wife arranged for you to sleep with her husband. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t know each other or date prior to his separation and it doesn’t matter if you didn’t know he’s still technically married. You have intercourse, you’re guilty, and cohabiting is virtually solid circumstantial evidence that you’re sleeping together. Your only other way around this is to see if the wife will agree to put what is called a 3rd party waiver of claims in their separation agreement. If you go this route, two things: 1.) it can be construed as an admission that you are sleeping together already and 2.) make very sure you have it drafted by a competent attorney.
I would have to agree with athos on this. If you are planning to have a substantial relationship with this person, it would be easier and less complicated for everyone involved to just wait until the divorce is final. If it’s already been filed for, then there’s only a matter of weeks until the divorce is granted.
While the criminal conversation issue may never come up, it is rarely prosecuted, it can be an issue for some and she may make things more difficult for him. If she doesn’t sign the divorce papers, the wait time could be drawn out. She can’t really use it in the divorce against him, since NC is a no fault state and you were not involved with their separation, but there is always the matter of drawing out the ED process to make things more difficult and time consuming even after the divorce is granted.
My suggestion…wait until the divorce is granted before you move. You should allow him to close out that chapter in his life before starting a new one with you. That’s just my opinion though…