She wont sign!

File for equitable distribution and file for divorce. In NC you must be separated for one year and one day to file for absolute divorce. That is the only reason divorces are granted other than incurable insanity. You do not have to have a signed separation agreement. If equitable distribution is not decided through a signed agreement then it would be decided in court as long as it’s filed for before the absolute divorce is granted. If she won’t sign that doesn’t mean that you can’t divorce her regardless.

Just echoing Stepmother. No separation agreement is needed. You’ve been apart long enough–file for divorce and let the courts handle it. She may think she is preventing you from getting a divorce by not signing, but that is not the case.


OK. What about this. I am afraid to leave a bad situation at home because my STBX will not sign a separation agreement. Flat out refuses. I am afraid that if I leave, she will not continue to help pay household bills (some of which are in my name). She can’t pay them on her own. I don’t want my credit ruined. It’s da*%ed if I do, Dam*ed if I dont. Stay in misery and depression or leave and risk financial mess-up. My lawyer advises me to stay until an agreement is signed. This has been going on for months. We have 3 young kids and I hate them to see us. It’s not a family. It’s not a marriage. It is not a good model for them.

Get another lawyer. You do not have to have a separation agreement to be separated. As long as you provide finacially for your children and have told your wife your intentions to separate and divorce then it is not considered abandonment. With the separation agreement that you have presented her with, you are “telling” her your intentions, and also hopefully working out child support, child custody, and equitable distribution. There’s really nothing else you need to do. If your lawyer is advising you to stay then you should ask him what the purpose is for this. If you are considering staying and trying to work it out then that would be the only reason to stay in a miserable situation, in the hopes that counseling or another solution presents itself. If you have no intentions of staying married then you are prolonging the inevitable and making the situation worse in the long run.
If you have children they know something is wrong. I don’t care how young they are, they know. You should consider talking with another attorney and see what they suggest on this. I have to wonder why a divorce attorney would advise against separation…

But what about the bills. If I leave with no agreement, technically I can’t enter the home again. That means bills would not come to me to be paid. If she doesn’t give them to me along with her part of the payment, then I’m stuck. I can’t afford them on my own. You don’t understand-this woman is crazy mad and will not agree to ANYTHING. NOTHING.

No you can’t enter the home without an invitation after you leave but you could get a PO box and have the bills sent to you there. If they are in your name, they do not have to come to the residential address. My husband gets all our bills at his business. Even if you do not have a joint account, she is still responsible for 1/2 the marital debt, just as you are entitled to 1/2 the marital assets. Contact the utility companies and let them know that you are not going to be living at that address any longer and need to either have your wife’s name added to the accounts, or have them put solely in her name, this would make her responsible for these bills. Other bills, you can take care of as they arise. If they are in your name alone, have them sent to you at the PO box. Get your name off whatever possible. Get rid of any unecessary bills if possible. This happens quite frequently and the utility companies do understand this. Is she refusing to continue to give you money for her portion of the bills as she does now if you leave? Have you documented conversations and amounts you pay and she pays?
Bottom line is, you are going to have to do something if you want this to happen. Staying in the home will not start the separation process and if you are determined to separate from your wife then you are going to have to figure a way for that to happen. Any person on here could tell you what they sacrificed when they left or were left by their spouse. For a lot of them it’s been money. For some it’s been much more.
I would say that at least 50% of couples do not have separation agreements when they divorce. It helps, but it’s not necessary. If you can’t agree, which it sounds as though you can’t, then the equitable distribution, child support and custody will be decided in court. The only thing an agreement does is keep all that from going to court because you have already agreed on it. This is why I wondered what attorney would push for you staying in the home because she won’t sign an agreement verses going to court because she won’t agree.
If you leave, keep track of everything. Do not use cash for anything involved in this. Save receipts and document everything you spend and what she pays. You can still follow what you put in the agreement that you would do or pay. If it’s fair then the courts would see that you are still taking care of your children and responsibilities, but simply want your marriage to end. And it will also show that she did everything she could to hinder this process. When you communicate with her, have the phone conversations recorded. Send her written requests for her portion of the bills and the date they are due, visits with your children, and anything else. You can follow up with phone calls but have as much paper trail as you can. This is all if you leave. If you can not work out the finacials to be able to leave, then there’s not much I can suggest. Go to counseling, whether together or separately, and try to make the best of it…

I appreciate your help. I just hoped she would be reasonable, but I don’t see that happening. If I don’t do something-she won’t. I plan to call my attorney and tell her I want out and if this is how I have to do it, then so be it. I never imagined it would go on like this.

I never answered your questions. This past month (for example) I paid my 1/2 of mortgage and utilities. I gave them to her for her part. I assume they got paid in that we still have electricity. SHe writes a check and I write a check. I send emails requesting payments so that I have written documentation of my request and willingness to pay 1/2. I have a recorder, but it doesn’t pick up everything and sometimes I forget to carry it with me. She is not a good money manager-never has been. That is why I don’t think she’ll care if they get paid or not.

My suggestion is that if you do move out, get the utilities in her name and you pay the entire mortgage until something can be worked out. Not knowing the specific dollar amounts it may be a little more than what you pay now, but it will be taking care of what your name is on. She will care if the utilities get paid if it’s her living there and her name on the accounts. They will have no one else to call for payment.
When/if this goes to court, you can request to be reimbursed for her portion of the mortgage that you have been paying after the date of separation. The utilities are being split now and would be solely her responsibility after the date of separation.
Hopefully, if you do this, your wife will see that you are serious about separating and will reconsider signing some sort of agreement so that she can protect herself also and not have to go through court for all this.

Can she still come in our house if she has been out for a year and a half? No separation agreement or divorce as of yet?

[i]Originally posted by jj071269[/i] [br]Can she still come in our house if she has been out for a year and a half? No separation agreement or divorce as of yet?
No. Legally she can not come into your home after the date the separation started unless you invite her or if you are reconciling. That is called domestic trespass. Change the locks if you haven't already.

Is it considered a legal separation if she moved out 18 months ago and wont sign? Can I date legally? would that 18 months grant me a divorce?

Yes, yes and yes.
NC has no such thing as “legal separation”. You are separated the date that one of you move from the marital home and begin living separate and apart with the intentions of divorcing. You can date while separated, but it is illegal to have sex with someone other than your spouse. The required separation time to file for divorce is one year and one day.

Dear jj071269:

Greetings. Go and speak with an attorney and determine exactly what your situation merits. Filing for equitable distribution and divorce may be a good idea. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
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

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
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.

Can someone point me in somekind of direction…She moved out 1.5 yrs ago, she will not sign separation agreement…What do I do?