Dear Carolyn:

My marriage is unraveling. My husband and I have three beautiful children. He is successful. We have a beautiful home. We had it all.

I discovered he had two children born to this “woman ” after we married. I have found some credit cards for flights to places like San Juan and Miami, and he does not go there for his work. He is moving out.

I need child support and alimony, as I do not work. He also is using cocaine, I think, and I would like life insurance on him. What can I expect for support and life insurance? He is also using profanity around the children, and he is angry.


Carolyn Answers:

You should qualify for child support and alimony, so petition the court for these as quickly as feasible. The amounts will depend on several things. First, there are North Carolina Child Support Guidelines, and I would need the income and health insurance costs to advise on the amount of child support. Your employment history will also be considered if all your children are over age 3.

Life insurance on the estranged spouse’s life is an exciting question under North Carolina law because our state does not have a statute that permits the court to order life insurance to secure support. The recent case of Wadsworth v. Wadsworth highlights that a court cannot order life insurance as security for support.

The court can consider hostility toward a mother as a consideration for a custody arrangement. Another new case, Davidson v. Tuttle, deals with hostility and profanity toward the mother, directly affecting the children and in the presence of the children. The father was awarded less time with the children because of his hostility, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision.



Send your questions on family law and divorce matters to “Ask Carolyn…” at, or P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro, NC  27427. Please do not put identifying information in your questions. Note that the answers in “Ask Carolyn” are intended to provide general legal information, and the answers are not specific legal advice for your situation. The column also uses hypothetical questions. A subtle fact in your unique case may determine the legal advice you need in your individual case. Also, please note that you are not creating an attorney-client relationship with Carolyn J. Woodruff by writing or having your question answered by “Ask Carolyn…”