Separation Questions

You will need to have an attorney review your post-nuptial agreement to determine whether it is enforceable. North Carolina has no “legal separation” that you file for. You and your spouse can attempt to agree on the terms of a separation agreement, but if you cannot, you may file at any time after separation a lawsuit for equitable distribution of marital property and debts and for post-separation support and alimony, if necessary. You must be separated for a year before you can file for absolute divorce. If you don’t get property and/or support issues resolved by agreement or by court action prior to your divorce becoming final, you will lose your legal right to pursue division of assets and debts as well as support.

Lara Stanford Davis
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
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 husband has left me well over 2 weeks now. We were both or should I say, previously recovering alcoholics. He has recently fallen off of the wagon, so to say. Just prior to his leaving he has created quite a financial mess of things. I am now having to face this alone.

Just prior to us purchase our new home over 3 yrs ago, I feared that this may happen. I therefore asked him to sign an agreement to which if we were to separate due to his any type of physical abuse or the reoccurance of drinking on either party, that the said forth party was to vacate the home. Also, that party, for the remainder of the marriage would have to pay 1/2 the mortgage, insurance and taxes that would incur. We both signed this and took it to a notary and had it notarized. Will that stand up? Can I get this inforced?

As well, I would like to know can I file for a legal separation on my own? And does all of the property have to be listed now, or can it be listed and settled in the final divorce papers? As well, are papers just filed then served, or do we both have to appear in court to get the separation granted? Please tell me what cost will be involved. As I stated prior, he did some great damage to our finances before he left. Therefore I am very limited as to what I am able to do right now. But I do need to protect myself as well as be able to make him pay for 1/2 as he did so agree.

I know this all may sound like silly questions to you, but I am very much at a lose right now. Please lend any advise that you can.

Thank you,

Desparate in NC