Mediation stalled, now what?

My boyfriend has been separated from his wife for 4 years. They have worked with a mediator for almost a year but every time they get close to an agreement she makes unreasonable demands, such as that he keep her on his health insurance after the divorce. She has had the agreement for more than 3 months but won’t sign it or make a counter proposal. What options does he have to divorce her if she just won’t sign the agreement? He does not have much money for legal representation or a court battle.

Thank you.

Not an Attorney


Your Boyfriend could have divorced her 3 yrs ago! After 1 year and 1 day of separation (In North Carolina) you can file for divorce.
You do not have to have any agreements in place (alimony,ED, child support) in order to obtain a divorce.
so if he chooses to divorce her, he can at this point do it at any time.

Best of life to you all.

Once parties have been separated for one year, either party may file for divorce. There is no requirement that there be a separation agreement in place. HOWEVER if the parties have not resolved their equitable distribution or alimony issues prior to obtaining the divorce decree, those claims are lost forever. So, if your boyfriend is owed money or property, or would be entitled to alimony, he will need to have the separation agreement in place or have filed an action for ED or alimony before the divorce decree is entered.

If he is eager to have these issues settled he can file a complaint for ED/alimony/custody/child support (whatever issues they are trying to resolve through the separation agreement) and have the court issue on order. Or, in some cases the filing of a complaint can be enough to get the other party motivated to negotiate or sign an agreement.

Thank you for your replies.

He shares two children with her, 14 and 18. She is unemployed and likely to stay that way. A counselor that worked with them told my bf that she may be unemployable because she is so unreasonable and unreliable. Through negotiations they have determined child support and alimony but she just won’t finalize.

What is an average cost for filing for divorce with no prior agreement in place? And what are the chances a judge would award her more money than he’s already been giving her these last 4 years? These are the 2 things that he is most concerned about.

The cost of fling a divorce in North Carolina is $245.00 ($225 fling fee plus $25 motion fee). That is just the court cost associated with actually filing the divorce complaint (this is the same regardless of whether there is an agreement in place). I cannot speak to what a judge would order if your boyfriend and his wife end up litigating these issues. Child support is straight forward, he can get an of what his child support obligation will be, by using our child support calculator. Alimony, on the other hand, is completely within the discretion of the judge.