Wife won't sign Separation Agreement

Wife left me one year ago. I received divorce papers a few days ago. She is going through some divorce clinic and I have 30 days to answer. Can I do this without an attorney?

We have a house in both our names and my car is in both our names. We have emailed back and for working on a separation agreement. She was didn’t like a few items in it, so I changed or deleted what she was uncomfortable with. She agreed to sign an agreement last Tuesday. Then emailed me an hour later to tell me that she thinks I am being sneaky about something in the agreement but she is tired of dealing with me and will sign. I don’t know why she thinks I am being sneaky, I have asked her on several occasions what she wanted changed or deleted in agreement. A few hours later she emails me that she will not sign and is getting a second opinion (someone from her work must be talking to her). After a week, I called and emailed her a few times to see if she got a second opinion and she emailed me back to stop harassing her. I haven’t contacted her since.

She told me that she isn’t signing anything and everything we agreed upon is in texts and emails. I told her that I want everything on one legal document.

I called her lawyer and left a message for him to call me back. His website strongly recommends a separation agreement and I mentioned this. I also sent him an email. I mentioned that I am willing to do separation agreement with her but can’t contact her about it (or the house or car). This has been 3 days ago and I still have not received a response.

What do i do now?

I’m not a lawyer and I’m sure Erin will answer tomorrow morning but I can chime in now with my opinion. If the divorce is granted and there is no claim for alimony and no claim for equitable distribution, then you lose rights to claim alimony and to get your fair share of any marital assets that may be under her control, sich as money in a bank account. She may be stalling. if you have been server, then you have approximately 33 days to file a response and initiate these claims, and I believe you can also file for a 30 day extension. If there is no sep agreement signed she may be stalling and hoping that the divorce will be granted before you have a chance to make thees claims. Even if they do not get resolved before the divorce if you make a claim for them, you will not lose your right to what is yours.

Good luck!


You may file a responsive pleading to the divorce without an attorney. Govenor0x is correct regarding the fact that you must include a claim for Equitable Distribution and Alimony (if applicable) in your Answer to the divorce complaint to preserve your rights to the same. Once the divorce is granted you lose your rights to these claims.

I make about $10,000 more than her. She left me. Would she be able to file for alimony?

We agreed on how we split everything. We agreed to split the house 50/50 whether we make or lose money. Now she is saying she won’t take a loss on the house…so with the housing market in a slump I will have to make payments on a house I can’t really afford.

She doesn’t have any money in her bank account. The little money that we had was in a joint account (closed and money is now in my account because she took $1000 without telling me) was inheritance from my dad passing away. Can she get any of that money?

I was really happy about 3-4 weeks ago because we seemed to have most everything ironed out. It seems like someone at her work got in her head and now she won’t return my calls or emails. I’ll that I wanted was a separation agreement so I don’t get stuck with the debt she has run up after she left me. She now has 5 credit cards and hospital bills in her name since leaving.

She could file for alimony, but would have to prove she is actually and substantially dependant on your income to maintain her standard of living, and the extra $833 per month you earn would presumably make it hard for her to do so.

She is not entitled to any of your inheritance, unless you cannot trace out its separate nature, or intended to gift the money to the marriage when you put it in the joint account.
The debts she has incurred after the date of separation are her separate debts.

I am stationed in Japan as a Marine. My wife and I have been living apart since August 1, 2010. She won’t sign the separation agreement. We have no kids, no debt, nothing. Just some furniture which I told her she could have, and she gave me the car (here in Japan) which is worth $1700.00… We own a house in Hubert, NC. If we sold it, we would be splitting debt, not equity. She has made just as much money as me for the past year. When she moves back to the States she won’t have a job right away, and she is demanding 500 in alimony until she remarries… on top of the BAH ($1230/month) she will receive until the divorce is final. Just because she might have to spend a couple weeks finding a job, I know she’ll be alright with just the BAH. The divorce probably won’t be final until November or December. She made 20k last year, I made a little more because I was deployed. I sent her $500 every month. Is she entitled to alimony after the divorce? It’s a no-fault. No adultery, no abuse. Nothing. She cheated on me multiple times but I can’t prove anything. She just won’t sign the agreement unless I agree to pay her until she remarries, which is making my life more difficult. Advice?

We are both NC state residents, so NC has jurisdiction over us even though we’re in Japan. She is flying home on an Early Return of Dependents form.
We were married in Onslow County.

If the divorce is granted and she fails to file a claim for alimony before the decree is entered, she is barred from seeking any alimony in the future.