Scared and need Legal advice


I have been married for 17 yrs next month. We have one child, a teenager. I have always been a stay at home mom/housewife with a little bit of part time work.
My husband is wanting a divorce. He told me three yrs ago he wants a divorce as he took his ring off. He asked me “what do you want” I said Everything and he never said Divorce again. Now he is starting it up again. He has a roving eye. He isnt attracted to me anymore (heartbreaking). He wants out.
He has been trying to wear me down so I will leave our home. He thinks HE can have it (our home) if he treats me badly enough that I will leave. I told him last night,I am on to him and what he has been doing. I know he saw a mediator a few years ago. I can not go out and get any full time work. I am doing the best I can. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness five yrs ago that causes chronic fatigue and cognitive issues, etc. I am scared because I know I can not go out and support myself and our child. I know I would get child support for our child. But, what about alimony for me? Can I get lifetime alimony? What about healthcare? Would I be able to keep our home…we only owe under $20,000 on it. He’d love to have it and leave me out in the cold. HELP! I need some Legal Advice! Thank you!


You are the dependant spouse you are entitled to an award of alimony in addition to child support. The amount and term of alimony are never a guarantee; however any marriage lasting more than 10 years gives you a better shot at lifetime alimony. I am seeing a trend in the courts of some counties moving towards treating alimony as a rehabilitative tool, especially as the supporting spouse heads toward retirement age. This does not mean that you will not be supported, just that support could taper off at some point. Keep in mind, you are also entitled to half of your husband’s retirement savings which have been accumulated during the marriage. As for the healthcare, your husband will not be able to cover you after divorce, unless it is through COBRA which is also limited as far as duration.

The martial property will be divided as well, and the likely result is that you will have to buy out your husband’s share of the equity in the home if you chose to stay there. I recommend you schedule a time to meet with an attorney immediately to begin making a plan to protect yourself and your child, as a dependant spouse you may also be entitled to have your husband reimburse you for a portion of your attorney’s fees as well.


Does it make any difference that my husband is a alcoholic who drinks every weekend and every Holiday and staggers off to bed drunkenly?
I was hoping due to his bad behavior I could get our home AND lifetime alimony. I have MS and my hands are pretty much tied…


NC is a “no fault” divorce state. All that is required for a divorce is separation of one year and one day and then either party can obtain a divorce. Sadly, fault really does not play all that much of a role and you are spinning your wheels if you want to “get him” because of his transgressions. Due to your illness, you stand a much better chance of receiving permanent or lifetime alimony, but there is no guarantee. Keep in mind that a disabled divorced spouse can begin receiving social security benefits at age 50 in a marriage lasting at least 10 years. If you choose to negotiate rather than go to Court, which I recommend, then you might be able to bargain for the home. Even if it goes to Court, a judge should be sympathetic to your situation and may award you the marital home. Just make sure you can afford to stay in the home because you would not want it if the upkeep and maintenance is not within your economic reach. Yes, everything is a gamble. See an attorney to find out what your options are and hope for the best. That is all you can do.


Keep in mind that a disabled divorced spouse can begin receiving social security benefits at age 50 in a marriage lasting at least 10 years.

I thought in order to begin receiving social security benefits at age 50 as a disabled divorced spouse, the ex had to have died. I didnt think you could recieve benefits at age 50 if the person is still living.