Spousal abandonment and Divorce Concerns

My husband has abandoned me after 30 years of marriage. Over the course of the past several years we have had issues with his addictions, infidelities, and mental health issues. Prior to his retirement, our marriage was further complicated by work stress worsening communication issues and emotional/verbal abuse. He retired when work became more than he could manage. Ultimately, we came to a decision for me to retire shortly after he did to better assist in his care and support. Things seemed to be improving for a short while. However, he abruptly left the home and is now demanding I take over all finances, which are frankly outside of my ability since retiring. The mortgage is in his name, but both of our names are on the deed. Based on his past behaviors, I also believe he is involved with someone else. I would like guidance on where or how to start and next steps.

You will need to file claims in court against him for equitable distribution and possibly alimony, and possibly a motion for interim distribution. You can also negotiate with him that the house be sold and the proceeds divided equally.

If he does not pay the mortgage, then it only affects his credit since your name is not on the mortgage. However, he cannot let the mortgage go into foreclosure status as this would be marital waste.

You could file a motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in order to force him to timely pay the mortgage each month in order to preserve the marital equity in the house for later division in equitable distribution (property division).

Anna Ayscue

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

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