Here is some quick background information…I have been married for 22 years and have lived in Wilmington, NC since August 2009. My wife and I have had issues over our marriage and on November 4, 2010 while I was on a business trip she moved to Memphis, TN with our 13 year old daughter and I did not find out until I got home on the 5th. When I called our 20 year old (going to college in DE)to ask where they were, he said he did not know. Within ten minutes my wife called to say they had left, were in Memphis where she was staying with a friend and would be enrolling our daughter into a school and that she had said good bye to all her friends already in Wilmington. She also said that the following week on the 10th and 11th she had a moving van coming to pack her things up and that we had to be out of the house we were renting by November 17th so the landlord could try to rent it to help get us out of our rent lease that goes to April 2011.
So with that all said, she is now in Memphis, TN and I had to move in with my sister and brother-in-law in Carrollton, VA until I can move back to NC (which will probably be Raleigh where my main work is). I have spoke with a VA lawyer and she said that I really need to hire a NC lawyer since that is where we were both living in the same house.
There are a lot of other factors in our situation, like a reconciliation agreement she drew up in 2003 and pressured me into signing in 2005 (during filing bankruptcy, she would not sign the bankruptcy unless I signed the agreement) that is all to her favor and shows that I would provide her $8,250 (when drawn up I was making $200K, now making $144K) a month or half of my gross salary whichever is greater until my age of 65 or retirement whichever is the later. This would go even if she remarried. I am now 54 years old so with this agreement I could be paying her the next 18 years (until I am 72 because I don’t see me retiring at 65 because of the debt we have built).
Three questions I have to get answered first is since we both no longer live in NC and I will probably be moving to Raleigh, NC somewhere between 12-18 months from now where should I hire a lawyer to fight the case? Should it be in the city where we last lived or can it be in Raleigh where I will be moving to and where I am almost once a week for business?
Secondly, through this process I will need to develop the case that this reconciliation agreement is void or can get it void because she left the state of NC? She has already changed her drivers license and registered her vehicle in Memphis so in 6 months she can file this reconciliation agreement in hopes that it will be good and she will get everything.
Thirdly, in this separation for divorce I have to provide support to her and my daughter. I have put together a very detailed spread sheet showing our monthly debt and my bring home pay on the 1st and 15th (she does not work right now). I am dedicated to pay our debt off and all she wants is clear and free support with no obligations to our debt we have made together. One, do I have to show her what I am paying off or just send her what is left after the monthly bills are paid? Secondly, do I need to accelerate paying things off as money comes in (we just got a large sum on a moving damage claim) or just pay the debt every month as the bills come in and if additional money comes in set it aside in a savings account and pay when the bills come due and keep good financial tracking of it?
I know this is pretty in depth however I have to make sure I go to the right city for a lawyer and I don’t have any extra money to pay consultant fees to multiple lawyers. Please help with your best advise based on the information I have provided above.