Non legal separation


#1

I left my husband 10 years ago without becoming legally separated and moved to another country where I’ve been living ever since. As we are not legally separated, what rights does he have? Could he claim assets I’ve since acquired in another country?


#2

Except as I’ve described below, your husband likely cannot claim assets you’ve acquired since you left him.

All that North Carolina requires for separation is that one of the parties separate with the intent to remain separate and apart, and for divorce purposes, that the parties live continuously separate and apart for at least one year. Any property acquired during the marriage (land, money, possessions, etc.) is subject to being divided and distributed among the spouses (called equitable distribution). Since you have not done this in a separation agreement or equitable distribution court order, then you both still have equal rights to any property and assets that existed at the date of separation. If you used any marital funds to acquire property in your new country of residence, then your husband could have a claim on those items. However, if for example, you obtained a job at your new country of residence and earned money and then bought a car using only the money you earned after the date of separation, then your husband would not have a claim to that car.