Need some advice


#1

Wow, where do I start?? Towards the end of this past November, my husband of 7 years, blindsides me and tells me that he wants a divorce. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather, it came from no where, as far as I could see then. Anyhow, he had gone behind my back and made arrangements to take me back to Michigan, of course I had heard about the abandonment law, and refused to let him take me. Anyhow, in the end, I did come back to Michigan, but not before I got him to sign an notarized agreement of separation, stating that HE asked for the divorce and that HE asked me to leave our marital home and that I was in no way, abandoning our home and marriage. We don’t have children together(thankfully). So I had a family member come get me and the things I brought into the marriage and some things that we had agreed to split. He took my debit card, so I have NO access at all to the account. I didn’t work for the past 4 years. I was a stay at home mom, taking care of his son and our home. I relied totally on his income. He did keep the medical insurance on me, as I knew he had to, however, I’m going to be stuck paying the co-pays, as he kept the flex spending card. Obviously there’s no way I can pay the co-pays, therefore I won’t be seeing the doctor. I just hope that he kept the “auto-pay” with the flex card at the pharmacy, as it’s a national chain and I have one here in Michigan! I do know now, that there is another woman involved. My friends down there, sent me pictures of her and him 2 weeks after he had me leave. He has no clue that I have them or that they were even taken. I just don’t know who the woman is. There is now way right now, that I can afford an attorney. He did tell me that he wants a “no-fault” divorce, but I’m not allowing that now!
I guess I need to know, do I need to move back to NC to proceed with all of this? Does the separation agreement that we signed at the Notary, still mean that neither one of us can file for divorce for the 12 month period that I read on NC Divorce laws? For me to be able to file in Michigan, I’d have to be a resident here for 6 months, but we don’t have spousal support or alienation of affection laws here. I really want to make him pay! I need some serious legal advice!!!


#2

For you to pursue alienation of affection or criminal conversation, you’d need to make sure the paramour is worth suing, i.e. not judgment-proof. If she doesn’t have any money/assets, it’s not going to be worthwhile to sue her.

It sounds like you have a good claim for post-separation support and alimony because you were the dependent spouse. Considering that you are already separated, you should feel free to file for this immediately.

The contract you two signed isn’t what actually makes your separation legal in NC. That contract, from the way it is described, is not a separation agreement, it’s just a statement that you did not abandon the marriage. A separation agreement in NC is a document that takes care of matrimonial issues (equitable distribution, child custody and spousal/child support) ahead of the divorce being made final. It’s an easier route to take for parties who can come to an agreement than to have to go to trial on those matters. You can see if your ex is agreeable to drafting a separation agreement with you, but at the very least, I’d recommend you not sign one until an attorney has reviewed it on your behalf. I would recommend you make a consultation with a NC attorney anyway to create a plan of action for you.

Regarding divorce: Yes, either of you can file for divorce in NC after 12 months have passed since the day you moved to Michigan and separated. If your spouse still lives in NC you may file the action for divorce in this state.