Post Separation Support


#1

My husband abandoned me about a year ago and went to work in the Middle East. I was on unemployment when he left and I am still looking for a job. The husband refuses to help me with bills. I need to file for postseparation support and eventually alimony. To file for postseparation support do I use a form and file it with the court? Do I base the amount on the standard of living while married? Since he is in another country, will it take up to a year or more to be heard in court? How much does it cost to file for postseparation support? Also, I have a vehicle that is in my husband’s name, but the payments are behind. The husband refuses to cooperate. He told Honda Corporation that he was homeless and this is why they have not been receiving consistent payments. Honda does not want to give him an extenstion because he is saying he is homeless. I have been trying to make the payments because I need the car to find a job and go to work. Also, I have almost paid the car off, so I don’t want to lose it. Can I ask the court for power of attorney for the car under the circumstances?[quote][/quote]


#2

You will need to file a Complaint for Post-Separation Support and Alimony. The cost to file a Complaint can vary, but they are usually $150-200. Your local Clerk’s office will tell you the exact amount you will need to bring. As far as the form to use, some counties have self-serve clinics which offer sample Complaints. I suggest you contact your county courthouse to see if such a clinic is available in your county. You may also want to check out our Rosen Online service (www.rosen.com/DIY) which includes an extensive library with sample complaints and other necessary forms

How long this will take to get in front of a judge will depend upon the docket load in that county, but also upon how long it takes to get your husband served. You might get lucky and your husband will file an Answer to your Complaint. This will show service. If he doesn’t respond, you will need to look to the NC Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4. You may need to ultimately contact a service processer in that country. Here is the section on serving a person in a foreign country:

Service in a foreign country. – Unless otherwise provided by federal law, service upon a defendant, other than an infant or an incompetent person, may be effected in a place not within the United States:

(1) By any internationally agreed means reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those means authorized by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents; or

(2) If there is no internationally agreed means of service or the applicable international agreement allows other means of service, provided that service is reasonably calculated to give notice:

a. In the manner prescribed by the law of the foreign country for service in that country in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction;

b. As directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request; or

c. Unless prohibited by the law of the foreign country, by

  1. Delivery to the individual personally of a copy of the summons and the complaint and, upon a corporation, partnership, association or other such entity, by delivery to an officer or a managing or general agent;

  2. Any form of mail requiring a signed receipt, to be addressed and dispatched by the clerk of the court to the party to be served; or

(3) By other means not prohibited by international agreement as may be directed by the court.

Service under subdivision (2)c.1. or (3) of this subsection may be made by any person authorized by subsection (a) of this Rule or who is designated by order of the court or by the foreign court.

On request, the clerk shall deliver the summons to the plaintiff for transmission to the person or the foreign court or officer who will make the service. Proof of service may be made as prescribed in G.S. 1 75.10, by the order of the court, or by the law of the foreign country.

Proof of service by mail shall include an affidavit or certificate of addressing and mailing by the clerk of court.

Yes, the levels the court will look at for alimony and PSS would be the standard of living when the two of you were married and living together. If you are the dependent spouse, and he still has the ability to pay, then you are likely to receive alimony.

As for the car, you can file a complaint for Equitable Distribution and then file a Motion for Interim Distribution of the car, if the car is in both of your names. If it’s just in his name, then you will not be able to receive the actual car (but the car would be accounted for in equitable distribution). If you don’t have any assets or significant marital debt, then it may not be worth filing for ED. It just depends upon what you have.

Finally, since you have been separated for a year, you can file for divorce after you’ve been separated for a year and a day. What I would recommend though is that you put off on filing for divorce until you have filed a complaint for PSS/alimony and for ED (if applicable). You will lose all rights to those claims once the divorce is final.