Dear WantOut,

First, you absolutely should not file for divorce until your alimony and property rights are settled. If you file for divorce and you have not asserted your right to alimony or equitable distribution you will forever lose your right to seek these.

If you have friends or family that can lend you the money I would advise you to take advantage of their generosity and hire an attorney. From your post it seems like you may have given up a significant amount of marital assets and at this point, you have not gotten anything in exchange.

It is not likely that you will be able to draft a QDRO on your own, they are complicated documents and require approval of the plan administrator before the funds can be distributed to you.

Your first step should be a separation agreement. Since it appears you may have quite a few assets, I would strongly advise you to consult with an attorney for assistance in reaching an agreement.

Helena M. Nevicosi
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.


I have been married for 24 years. We have been separated for 1 1/2 years. I told him I wanted a divorce and left Jan.2004. I have been trying to get him to pay for the legal stuff but he refuses. I was a homemaker and stay at home mom, per his request. I raised my two, his two, and our son. All are adults. I agreed to give him everything, and he agrees to pay the mortgage, the car that is in his name, and all credit card balances(which I have no idea of the balance),because I am giving up the equity in the house,land in the mountains,all household items right down to the toilet paper. He works for Duke Power and has for the last 31 years and has agreed to half his Retirement Savings Plan and a Retirement Cash Balance Plan as of the date of our separation in 2004. I know I need a QDRO, but I lost my job and have no way of paying for anything. Are Retirement plans split by monetary value or by the stocks in the accounts?I want a divorce and I need half the retirement plans because I have no social security built up being his housemaid and mother of five for so many years. He has some of my mothers things that he will not give me. The house is being cleaned out little by little and I have no idea where everything is.I left with nothing of any monetary value, except I cashed in a few DRIPs last year which I used my “allowance” to get and I lived on it and the love of friends and relatives since. The moneyis gone now.He gave me a truck that I had to sell due to engine problems. It is hard getting a job with no real job experience in over 20 years! I am 46 so that doesn’t help either. He has maintained health and life insurance on me. We have no legal written agreements. All verbal.He isn’t a horrible person, but a very greedy one, and a sneaky one. What should I do first? A separation agreement, a QDRO, Both or File it all at the same time since way over a year has passed. I want a divorce. I am tired of him nagging me to come home and keep HIS assets in place. I did meet my former fiance of many years ago and we hit it off. I would like to remarry. Any suggestions would be appreciated.