What can he do?

The separation requirements for absolute divorce is one year and one day living separate and apart. She is entitled to 1/2 the marital assets and debts. He can file for divorce and as long as there has been no Equitable Distribution claim filed before absolute divorce is granted then he should be able to have the divorce go through without having to divide marital assets and debts. The only catch is that after filing for absolute divorce, there is a 30-45 day wait period after she is served where his wife would be able to file and ED claim. That wouldn’t hold up the absolute divorce but he may need to have a listing of assets and debts that were valid at the time of separation just for that purpose. If she doesn’t file for ED then she can’t claim anything after the absolute divorce is final.

Dear Sally:

Greetings. Yes, she may be entitled to property that they both owned during the marriage. Your friend should consult an attorney. Yes he may be able to get a divorce and not deal with equitable distribution. 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.

My friends wife walked out on him for another man. She apparently had been cheating on him and decided that she didn’t want him anymore. They never got a divorce but have been separated for 11 years. He would like to get a divorce from her but he is worried that she will try to take his house and his stuff. Is she entitled to any of at least half of his belongings after this much time has past. Can he get a divorce without having to give her anything?