My Spouse refuses to negotiate the Separation Agreement


My spouse refuses to negotiate the Separation Agreement, she does not agree with anything unless I give her everything she wants. We have been married for 8 1/2 years and we have two children, 9 and 5 years old. She wants everything, she does not want to negotiate and we are at a standstill, She told me that if I do not accept all her terms, she will take me to court even if she gets less. She indicated that she wants to make my life as difficult as possible.

I have to add that she suffers from depression which started after having a stillbirth baby between our 2 daughters and a miscarriage after the last daughter. However, we have two beautiful and very smart daughters.

She wants to have custody of the children, and I should only have them 72 hours every other week, and all year around, no vacations. She said that she could not bear to get home without seeing her daughters…… I will never accept this type of custody
She wants 4 1/2 years of alimony paid to her in a lump sum amount
She wants all the marital property, including all the furniture in the house etc.
She wants 50% of the proceeds of the house after we sell it. However she does not want to sale the house at this time and she wants me out of the house.

She does not work and she does not want to work either, because she wants to take care of our daughters and they are both gong to school………….

My questions are the following:

If she does take me to court, since she does not have any money, would I have to pay for her attorney? We do not have money to pay any attorneys unless we sell the house first.

How long would it take to litigate the Separation Agreement and the Property Settlement in court?


If you are at a standstill in negotiating separation terms, then you will have no choice but to file in court in order to resolve all issues.

She will likely make a claim for attorney’s fees in her complaint or counterclaim but it will be up to the judge to determine whether or not to award that to you and make you pay for it.

It would be a good idea to have attorneys and equitable distribution resolved before the house sells so there would be a binding agreement about how to divide the proceeds.

The length of time to go through the court process for all issues varies depending on the county you are in, availability on court calendars, whether the issues can end up being resolved outside of court by mediation, etc. Generally you can expect it take anywhere from a few months to 1-2 years depending on how contentious things are.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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