Goldsboro, NC asked in Divorce for North Carolina

Q: Okay I have been a stay at home mom for 20 years my husband makes the money but we are talking divorce and he is saying

How he will leave me with nothing take out all cash stop paying phones WiFi which my kids use for school can he take it he says he will leave us with nothing no food nothing

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2 Lawyer Answers
Amanda Bowden Johnson
Amanda Bowden Johnson pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: My experience with men like you have described is once I punch them in the wallet good and proper one or two times they all of a sudden miraculously want to stop being jerks and want to be reasonable (this is especially true if they are military). So do not let him intimidate you with his complete misunderstanding of how things work. Go consult with a local family law attorney who can review your specific situation in detail and lay out your options for you. As the dependant spouse, you can likely file for support, equitable distribution (a division of the assets - whether he 'takes them out' or not) and other stuff he won't like such as petitioning the Court to make him pay your attorney's fees. Either way, you will likely come out on top despite the typical bumbling, little bully boy, blustering he is doing at this point. Best of luck.

Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this and dealing with someone who would threaten to leave his own children destitute. Your case involves a lot of possible claims, and I can only really give you a short overview of each. For more information, you will need to talk to a local family law attorney. These are the possible claims in your case:

1. Child custody - I'm not going to talk about this much as it is somewhat self-explanatory. Most people file a lawsuit seeking a custody order, which order would set forth the time that each parent has with the children. Many people can agree on what schedule they want to use, and if they can agree, the custody order can be done either at child custody mediation (which should be required in your case) or as a consent custody order.

2. Child support - North Carolina has child support guidelines which uses the incomes of the parties, the custodial schedule, and a few other factors to come up with the amount of child support one party owes to the other. It is a formula, and once you have the custodial schedule as well as the incomes of the parties, there often isn't much to fight over. This is a simplification, but child support is generally paid until the child graduates high school.

3. Spousal support - Whether your husband is going to owe you alimony is going to depend on sixteen different statutory factors, with the most important factors being economic related to your respective incomes. Marital fault can play a role, but is not required. You will have to establish that you are the "dependent spouse" and that he is the "supporting spouse." Unlike child support, there are NO guidelines or formulas, and spousal support is therefore a bit more complex to estimate.

For both spousal support and child support, you may have income "imputed" to you if you don't seek employment. I'm sure you don't have a lot of lucrative employment options, but you will likely need to either get a mediocre entry level job, or be able to show that you are unable to gain employment for whatever reason. In either event, for the purposes of spousal support and child support you won't simply be allowed to just put your feet up and do nothing to seek employment.

4. Equitable Distribution - ED is the process of dividing the property/debts that were acquired during the marriage. Real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, personal property, retirement and investment accounts, etc. It is presumed that a 50/50 split is fair, but you may be able to introduce evidence to support a claim for an unequal distribution. At a minimum your husband shouldn't be able to leave you with "nothing" as you are entitled to (roughly) half of the marital estate.

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