Questions, Questions, Questions


Dear hugheske:

Greetings. No, you cannot resolve the issues in California. Hire an attorney in NC to represent your interests and you may not need to travel here at all.

Yes, you should immediately file a claim for equitable distribution. Yes, you can ask for the debt to be divided.

No, typically if alimony is set she cannot get more, but any support obligation paid by court order can be modified. It is just not likely.

Hire an attorney as soon as possible. That will ensure that your life and credit can move forward. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


My ex and I have been separated since April of 2004. We had a written agreement (not notarized or anything) saying how we would handle custody, property, etc… through the separation. I presented her with a legal separation agreement to be signed and notarized by the both of us about 2 months ago and she has not signed or returned it. All marital debt was refinanced by me and I pay it all (about $35,000 worth). I pay her child support and spousal support, which were both set by the courts. The only thing still outstanding is the family home which she had agreed verbally to sell this summer. I have received information that she does not intend to sell the home and my name is still on the mortgage. She filed for divorce in June, but I was not properly served by the post office. The big problem is this. I now live in California (military) and it is difficult for me to transit back and forth. I want to protect my interest in the home (I gave her all of the equity but I want the loans out of my name).

Can I file for divorce in CA even though she filed in NC (though I was not served properly)

If not, Can I hire a NC attorney to handle the issue even though I am out of state?

Do I simply file a claim for Equitable distribution? Can I include 50% of the pre separation debt in the ED claim?

Can she come back on me for more spousal support even though it was already set by the courts?

I am so tired of making agreements with her and her breaking them and doing her own thing. I know…I was stupid to not have it all in writing…trusted her for 14 years and she broke that…why should I trust her now right? Thanks for any help you can give me.