Abandonment query

Hello, what is construed as a non abandonment by the out spouse? Could you pls give some examples other that the standard 3 legal aspects of which says:

Abandonment occurs when a spouse brings cohabitation to an end without

  • justification
  • the consent of the other spouse
  • the intent of renewing cohabitation.

I am in a situation where I want to leave the house but me and my spouse are not even on any talking terms so there’s no way to seek consent or justify my decision. There has been history of DV, isolation, recent financial abuse & alienation of affection brought up unintentionally by spouse’s close family members. They think it is ok to isolate me from involving me in any decisions. For example: In laws come and stay for months in my house without me being informed bout their plans neither am I informed about their extension of stay in our house. My spouse also makes some financial decisions with them about our finances leaving me out of any discussions and I get cold treatment from him. He doesn’t take up any chores in the house whatsoever and I am just there to clean after them everyday…etc.

If I decide to move out without:

  1. any justification and/or
  2. without getting my spouse’s consent and/or
  3. without the intent of renewing cohabitation…

….will the scenario I mentioned would still be considered an abandonment on my part?

Yes, you likely have justification to leave the marriage given these facts. You are justified to leave the marriage/move out of the marital residence when you cannot continue the marriage with safety, health, and self-respect.

Also, your spouse has constructively abandoned you by not making decisions with you and likely not fulfilling the duties and obligations of a marriage. In that case, you would also have justification to leave the marriage.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Thanks for your response. That being said, I assume it will be ok to just let my spouse know of my decision to move out. Looking at dynamics between us, should I serve him the post separation agreement after I move out?

You can present a separation agreement before or after you separate. Depending on how you think your spouse may react to receiving such a document should determine when to present it to him. You will also want to ensure your safety.

Otherwise, yes, you can notify him/her of your intent to move out and separate.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Thank you! Based off of what I shared, do you think I am eligible for Bed to Board? If not, after I move out, will it be ok to me to gain entry into the marital home to get my belongings?

You will have a claim for divorce from bed and board if you can establish at least one fault ground.

Fault grounds for divorce from bed and board are:
(1) abandonment of the family
(2) malicious turning out of doors
(3) cruel or barbarous treatment
(4) indignities that render the spouse’s condition intolerable and life burdensome
(5) excessive drug or alcohol use
(6) adultery

For more detailed information on the claim of divorce from bed and board and an explanation of each of the possible fault grounds, check out our article What is a Divorce from Bed and Board?


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Thank you.

After I move out, will it be ok for me to go to the marital home to get my belongings?

Yes, but only upon mutual agreement of you and your spouse.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

can I call non emergency (Police) # to have an officer present when I break the news to my spouse about my intent to separate? I want to have some safety net around me in case my spouse gets hostile. I plan to tell my spouse that I’m leaving on the same day I decide to move out with my belongings and some necessary furniture.

Yes, you can request that a law enforcement officer meet you at the home and be present.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.