Same topic/different question!

First, if he has filed for divorce then legally you don’t have to sign the papers. In 30-45 days the divorce would be final. Second, you need to have a Equitable Distribution agreement filed before that final date in order to get anything that you don’t already have. If it is not filed before final divorce you can not go back to get anything afterwards. Third, he can only file for divorce after one year and one day of living separate and apart from you. That is the only reason for divorce in NC other than legal insanity.
Equitable distribution meaning that you are entitled to 1/2 the marital assets and debts. This means that the home, property, autos, stocks and business that you and your husband own together are half yours. There are some exclusions to that rule but generally this is standard. Since you are still married, you have the right to access, bank accounts, mutual funds, and anything else that you name is on. I would suggest that you get a separate bank account at a different bank with only your name on it and that way your address will reflect your present status. I would access whatever funds are necessary and hire a GOOD attorney. Don’t let your STBX take you for everything after 40 years of marriage. I’m not suggesting that you make his life miserable and take him to the cleaners but you are entitle to 1/2 of everthing. This can still be amicable but I would make sure he understands that it’s not going to be that easy. Get an attorney, and file for Equitable Distribution and possibly alimony since you are a dependant spouse.

You are entitled to your share of the assets and possibly other relief. I agree with “stepmother”. Hire a lawyer. Don’t delay as you may find yourself barred from getting anything if you spouse proceeds with the divorce and you do not act in advance.

Good luck.

Lee S. Rosen
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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 spouse has, of late, been introducing into our conversations the fact that he recently found out we could sign divorce papers without having a Separation/Property Settlement Agreement in effect. He says he wants no more anger or bad feelings between us so this can finally come to an amicable end. He keeps asking me to think very seriously about signing the papers and he will take care of me. After all I’m the mother of our son! He just wants to marry his new love. Period. NO I AM NOT GOING TO SIGN ANYTHING!!! Not without an agreed-to separation in effect. He could have already been divorced, happily living his new life with my blessings, until I read the first set of Sep. papers he gave me last yr. I’ve been married to this man for forty (40) years and I didn’t realize the extent he would and tried to go to for the new lady in his life. I guess a big difference in age will make a man try the impossible.> Sorry, I do have a question. Although we have been separated for quite a long time, we are still legally married. Since this is the case, don’t I have a right to have access to our mutual funds? We own a home, property, autos, stocks and even a business together. Yet I have had to let him give me what he thinks I should live on each month. Not what I need or, God forbid, what I might want at times. Therefore, I have many times had to do without, put groceries back for lack of enough cash. It’s humiliating, embarrassing and plain outright WRONG. I know for a fact that no one does without in Raleigh.> I have tried to have checks and a credit card sent to where I live now, but have been told they can only send these items to the address that’s on the checks. I know I need an attorney but he is making dead sure I have no funds. What can I do? I’m not asking for a lot. I am in my sixties, haven’t had to work in twenty years, now I am unable to. Ijust want to live comfortably, without him and not have to worry from one deposit to the next. He wants to marry someone else and yet he is still trying to control my life and, sadly, doing a damn good job of it! Does Legalaid (?) ever handle divorce cases? Thanks for reading my book. If I’m smart and lucky, it may turn out to be a BestSeller!! Respectfully, lostlady P.S. Please excuse all errors.