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If you can make out a claim of abandonment for a fault divorce in North Carolina then that marital misconduct will play an important role regarding issues of custody and spousal support
. You will need to prove your case for abandonment.
According to research, in North Carolina abandonment is established as follows:
Abandonment occurs when a spouse brings cohabitation to an end without justification, without the consent of the other spouse, and without the intent of renewing cohabitation. All three of these elements must be proved by the spouse seeking to show the other spouse's abandonment. A spouse is justified in leaving the other spouse, however, when the withdrawing spouse cannot continue the marital relation with safety, health, and self-respect.
North Carolina cases also recognize constructive abandonment as marital fault as well. Constructive abandonment arises when the other spouse does not physically leave the home but, rather, commits affirmative acts of cruelty or neglect or other willful failure to fulfill the obligations of marriage.
[Courtesy North Carolina Divorce law
If you can establish those points then you can file for a divorce based on those grounds.Custody
Marital misconduct is usually not a factor in child custody cases. The law presumes that joint custody
is in the best interest of the child
unless one parent is not capable of handling the daily needs of the child. Since you have had custody of the children all this time, then likelihood of being awarded primary custody are great. He would most likely be awarded visitation rights.Child Support
Marital misconduct is not considered in determining child support. Instead, the income of both parents and the needs of the child are considered in the calculation. You can determine an estimate of support using this calculator here.Spousal support
Marital misconduct is considered here. Spousal support is based on the needs of the spouse and ability of the other to pay. If his misconduct has made it difficult to sustain a reasonable standard of living then you can be awarded spousal support. The misconduct can play in your favor.
How much you can get depends on what you establish as your needs to live comfortably as spousal support is determined on a case-by-case basis.
You can get further ideas of the issues of a North Carolina divorce here.
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