Separation papers, divorce and equitable distribution

We agreed via text on how we would divide property, debt and retirement. I used the DIY with your firm to complete separation papers based on what we had agreed upon. It’s been 10 months since I sent those the them and they still have not gotten them notarized and back to me (along with the Quit Claim Deed so I can refinance the house and get them their part). It’s always an excuse of something why they havent. If I file an ED with the court does the judge then decide one how things are divided or will filing a ED with the court allow me to file for divorce and maybe then they will sign the paper work and stick to what we agreed upon? I want this divorce and I would like to keep things as we agreed but am tried of them dragging their feet “because they can”.

Filing a a court action for equitable distribution (ED) in court will force the other party to make a move (negotiate, sign, etc.). If you’ve been separated for over one year with the intent to remain permanently separate and apart, then you can also include a claim for absolute divorce.

Even if you file for ED in court, you and your spouse can still agree on the settlement and you can even still execute the separation agreement (and dismiss the ED claim afterwards). A judge will only hear the issue of ED and make a decision on distribution if it cannot be resolved between the parties after good faith negotiations, a mediation, pretrial conferences, etc.

The act of filing an ED claim in court alone does not prevent you from still resolving ED on your own outside of court.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

1 Like