Roxboro, NC asked in Divorce for North Carolina

Q: Can my husband go to jail? I received divorce papers from him, we live together & he says we have been separated 1 year.

We have been living together as husband and wife, in the same house as a married couple. I was served with divorce papers, out of the blue, for an absolute divorce. It states we have been separated for one year and we have not. We were married in 2013 and have been together on and off. However since August of last year we have lived together every day and are still together. He has not said one word about a divorce or about leaving. I have not told him that I received the papers but he is still living in our home (we rent) and acting as if nothing is different. I plan on getting a lawyer so that he will have to leave and wait a year because I have no idea what he is up to. I don't have the money for a lawyer so I want to ask that he pay back the fees. My question is can I pursue this? Isn't this perjury? Can't he be fined or go to jail? Thank you in advance.

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
Amanda Bowden Johnson
Amanda Bowden Johnson
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Yes, he can for felony perjury and he likely should. More importantly so can you, if you go along with it. You have the right idea about consulting with a local attorney, so go do that as soon as you can to get options on how to best deal with this and a separation if that is ultimately what you want to do. Best of luck.

David Allan King
David Allan King
Answered
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: You can't put your husband behind bars in a civil lawsuit, as only the government can pursue criminal matters. The police are unlikely to show up and cuff him. It's actually very common for people to lie about the separation date, even if - in theory - there can be serious consequences.

However, there are some instances where one spouse can force the other to pay their legal fees. One is when the dependent spouse that can't afford a lawyer is trying to get alimony from a breadwinner spouse. The other is for bad faith litigation. If you collect evidence showing the spouse clearly lied in his complaint, that may - at a minimum - be a factor to help you.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.