After 3 months of separation(following 30+ years of marriage), if I am continuing to pay the mortgage, home insurance, health insurance and basically the same bills I was paying before I moved out (and plan to continue to do so during the separation), can my husband “counter-sue” for desertion and/or use desertion as grounds to try and obtain alimony? I have asked if he would amicably agree to working out some financial arrangements without court involvement, but he is now pushing the “desertion” topic and says his attorney advised him against working with me on financial issues. As long as I continue to pay the bills listed here, is there anything he can do to use “desertion” against me to obtain alimony, have a divorce granted on grounds of desertion (instead of my intent to seek divorce after being separated for one year), and/or to force me to pay for legal expenses with a divorce?

North Carolina does not recognize a claim for desertion, and is a no fault divorce state. While the statue lists abandonment is still listed as a type of martial misconduct in the statutes, a suit for divorce cannot be based on the same, and it is merely a factor in making a determination of alimony. Further, your spouse may be entitled to alimony based solely on your respective financial positions.