Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. In North Carolina, there are only two grounds for divorce: one-year separation (in separate residences) and incurable insanity.
While your moving out of the home should not prejudice you during the property division process, the realistic point of view is that without you taking care of the home, it may deteriorate as he may be unable to continue maintaining the home.
You state that your husband is a drug user and that your life has been on a merry-go-round, does any of that involve domestic abuse? If yes, you may be able to have him removed from the home by filing for a protective order. In North Carolina, domestic abuse includes: attempts to cause bodily injury; or places you in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or continued harassment, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress.
North Carolina is an equitable distribution state which means that the marital property is divided in a way that is fair and equitable, not necessarily 50/50. Some of the factors taken into consideration include: 1) income and liabilities of each party; 2) support orders relating to prior marriages; 3) duration of the marriage; 4) health and age of the parties; 5) whether there are any minor children: 6) any non-marital pension or retirement accounts; 7) the liquidity of marital property; 8) tax consequences to each party; 9) any other factor which the court finds to be just and proper.
I hope this provides you with some useful information. Good luck.
First, I apologize – I was talking of an absolute divorce. In NC, there is also a divorce from bed and board (I have attached the statute below) which does permit a divorce by the injured spouse (you) which enables you to obtain a divorce on several grounds (committing adultery; excessive user of alcohol/drugs to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable; indignities (STD). Should he decide to contest this divorce, it becomes more difficult than an absolute divorce proceeding, so I recommend that you have a local attorney file the complaint instead of representing yourself. As part of the divorce filings, a motion for temporary support and to have him vacate the home may be filed.
Under NC Statute 14-277.3A, (a stalking statute but it's provisions are applicable to domestic violence) defines harassment as conduct that torments, terrorizes, or terrifies that person and that serves no legitimate purpose. Substantial emotional distress is defined as significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. Below is the full statute relating to domestic violence definition.
§ 50-7. Grounds for divorce from bed and board.
The court may grant divorces from bed and board on application of the party injured, made as by law provided, in the following cases if either party:
(1) Abandons his or her family.
(2) Maliciously turns the other out of doors.
(3) By cruel or barbarous treatment endangers the life of the other. In addition, the court may grant the victim of such treatment the remedies available under G.S. 50B-1, et seq.
(4) Offers such indignities to the person of the other as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome.
(5) Becomes an excessive user of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and the life of that spouse burdensome.
(6) Commits adultery.
§ 50B-1. Domestic violence; definition.
(a) Domestic violence means the commission of one or more of the following acts upon an aggrieved party or upon a minor child residing with or in the custody of the aggrieved party by a person with whom the aggrieved party has or has had a personal relationship, but does not include acts of self-defense:
(1) Attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury; or
(2) Placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party's family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment, as defined in G.S. 14-277.3, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress; or
(3) Committing any act defined in G.S. 14-27.2 through G.S. 14-27.7.
(b) For purposes of this section, the term "personal relationship" means a relationship wherein the parties involved:
(1) Are current or former spouses;
(2) Are persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together;
(3) Are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren. For purposes of this subdivision, an aggrieved party may not obtain an order of protection against a child or grandchild under the age of 16;
(4) Have a child in common;
(5) Are current or former household members;
(6) Are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, a dating relationship is one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.
(c) As used in this Chapter, the term "protective order" includes any order entered pursuant to this Chapter upon hearing by the court or consent of the parties.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).