Without Separation Agreement?


Clarification - I am speaking of a filing for divorce by notification in a publication. Here, the other spouse could very, very easily miss that and have the divorce finalized before they had any idea it was happening…and furthermore, it appears that spouse has NO right to alimony (but could possibly sue for propert distribution??)

How in the world can that be possible???


Dear December:

Greetings. First, service by publication can be used only is a very small number of cases. It is also only used where other methods have failed. Divorce cuts off the rights to both alimony and equitable distribution.

If a divorce occurs because of a service by publication, but the filing spouse knew where their wife or husband were, it could be overturned, as long as the spouse did not know about the divorce proceeding and it was attacked quickly after the entry of the divorce. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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.


If one spouse files for divorce after 12 months of separation, there is no separation agreement, and the divorce is finalized in due course, does the other spouse (who may not even be aware that divorce papers have been filed) have any rights to property distribution or alimony?

How does that spouse go about trying to get a property dist or alimony and is it any harder than it would have been if the spouse had tried BEFORE the divorce was finalized?

It seems as if it is possible for one spouse to file in secret and walk away with the house and property and not have to pay any alimony.