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I left at the end of April to help my mother move to Ohio. I have been unhappy for a very long time and I decided to stay with my mom for awhile. My husband knew where I was and we were talking. I thought we were going to work on our marriage but I had already enrolled into college, it's a really long story, but I thought we both decided not to get a divorce. Then he cut me off finacially by opening another account or by no longer having his payroll directly deposited into our joint account. I then received papers on Jan. 2 for divorce from bed and board claiming abandoment, that I took $11,450 of his separate funds, wanting credit I geuss towards money paid (?) and asking for more than 50% in assest property distribution and the house. I haven't worked in over 11 years and I did try to get a job, this at my husband's request but I haven't been successful. I'm not sure what kind of response I should do. It's not true that I abandoned him, if anything he drove me away and made me the scape goat for all our family problems and has taught this to our daughter. Who is now 24 years old and wants nothing to do with me. I almost forgot he sent me a letter after he cut off finances and essentially trying to blackmail me into signing an agreement that would protect the retirement but gave me no details, in return he would reinstate the deposits from which I was getting living expenses. Do I answer with a counter claim and ask for more than 50%, etc...? It said I had 30 days. By now it's more like 15 days I have no money I had to get a credit card with barely enough credit to use your service. I'm feeling desparate right now.
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I am very interested to read what replies you get re. Abandonment chargess. I am getting the same threats from stbX - this after he suggested I return home to think about things. All the best. Keep strong.
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You need to answer the complaint and deny all allegations within the 30 days. Then you can ask for post separation support, alimony, equitable distribution, and 1/2 his retirement. Don't sign anything regarding his retirement, You are entitled to half by NC law. Once you do this, then he will think twice about a divorce. You are the dependent spouse and he is the supporting spouse. You are going to be fine, and he's going to get the short end of the stick. Family court is very relaxed, so tell the judge your side, and he will decide based on law. Don't worry about the abandonment claim, you didn't abandon anyone. Goggle (NC divorce from bed and board) you will understand what this is, compared to absolute divorce.
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You need to answer the complaint and submit a counterclaim to preserve your actions. If you are limited in time, you can file a motion for extension to get an additional 30 days to respond, but the motion must be filed before the initial deadline.
A divorce from bed and board is a legal separation, and he is likely filing it to show the intent to separate since you said that you thought neither party was going forward with a divorce. Abandonment is one of many factors that a judge will look at to determine how property should be divided. You probably have factors in your favor as well.
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