Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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Former registrar sued for alimony after 54 years of marriage

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Former Alamance County Register of Deeds Hugh Webster is being sued for alimony, post-separation support, half of his retirement, and other assets by his estranged wife of 54 years, Patricia (“Pat”) Webster.

Webster, 78, was appointed as the county’s Registrar in 2011 and elected to the post in 2012. He ran unopposed in 2016 but opted not to seek reelection to a third term last year. A Republican, Webster also represented Alamance and Caswell counties in the state senate from 1995 until 2006.

Then register of deeds, Hugh Webster shown here in 2019.

Married since August 1967, the couple separated last month, according to the lawsuit that has been filed in Alamance County civil district court by Pat Webster. The couple has two grown children.

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The former registrar’s estranged wife, 80, asserts that she is “substantially in need of maintenance and support” and he earned $49,000 in gross income, plus income from other sources, last year, while she received $35,831 in gross income in 2020.

Pat Webster had previously worked for LabCorp, in addition to raising the couple’s children; managing the home and family finances; supporting her husband’s political career; helping out on the family’s farm; and handling payroll and other clerical duties for her husband’s business, according to her suit.

Pat Webster alleges that her now-estranged husband “constructively abandoned” her, by degrading and insulting her, telling her to “shut up” if she disagreed with him, and trying to start arguments with her in front of her friends. She further claims that Hugh Webster refuses to take care of his health and follow his doctors’ instructions, acknowledging that she told him that she’s unable to care for him in his present condition and that he needed to hire someone to help him.

In her suit, the estranged wife alleges that her husband had told her he was going to find “a woman from Russia or somewhere else to move in with him and had requested that [Pat Webster] show her how to take care of him.” In his quest, he has spent thousands from a shared checking account on dating websites in Russia and eastern Europe and “has spent thousands of dollars to obtain the companionship of various women,” Pat Webster claims.

Her suit describes the physical, mental, and emotional state of the defendant as “overweight”; his muscles, atrophied; and “obsessed with his search for a woman to move in with him.”

In addition to the alimony, post-separation support, and other assets, Pat Webster is seeking an award for an “uneven distribution” of the marital property, to include the couple’s beach house at 5513 Porcher Drive in Myrtle Beach, where she is currently residing. Hugh Webster is continuing to reside in the couple’s home at 208 Shadowbrook Road in Burlington, according to the court file.

Pat Webster is also requesting an interim distribution of the marital assets to cover her living expenses until the case can be resolved. She is asking for an Alamance County judge to enter a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent her estranged husband from converting or disposing of any assets or property, as well as to prevent the potential destruction of any data on his laptop, iPad, phone, or other electronic devices.

Additionally, Pat Webster is seeking an award for possession of the home in Myrtle Beach; a 2004 Honda CRV; a 1990 Isuzu Trooper; one-half of her estranged husband’s retirement accounts and pensions; and half of all cash in either party’s name.

Alamance County court documents give no indication that Pat Webster has filed a divorce complaint.

Pat Webster contends that she’s unable to maintain the standard of living she became accustomed to during the marriage. She “has enjoyed a nice home, a house in Myrtle Beach, vacations to South Africa, Maui, Germany and Columbia, and has driven a reliable vehicle,” the complaint states.

Pat Webster, who is being represented by Burlington attorney Wade Harrison, is also seeking an award for her court costs and attorney’s fees.

Hugh Webster was served with of the copy of the complaint two weeks ago, according to the court file. He had not filed a response by press time.

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