After rereading my own post I realize that he must have been unhappy as happy and content spouses don’t just up and leave, but he never shared this info with me. I just think in the fairness of his 4 children he left behind he should have made some effort to save the marriage. To me that is abandonment, but I do not know how the courts define it and if it holds much weight. Will his adultery hold much weight in the eventual alimony award. I, myself, have not committed any marital fault so I know I am entitled to some award for his indiscretions.

What you need to get past is that your children have nothing to do with the relationship between you and your STBX. Yes you have 4 children together. However, being in the same boat (kinda) as your ex…staying together for the kids while being unhappy isn’t a good thing-whether you express the unhappiness or not OR if you go to counseling or not. Is it the BEST way to handle it (just leaving)? Probably not-but some men (and women) don’t know any better emotionally. I don’t see abondonment in that he has given you money for support and is paying child support. I don’t know legally what the not sharing unhappiness plays in the abandonment aspect. It won’t get you MORE money though. Men (and women) leave their spouses every day regardless of whether they have kids or not. What may seem like a blase, uncaring move may in fact been emotionally hard on him. Who knows?

You are letting your emotions control the legality of things. I understand the emotional part, but the courts-I believe-really won’t care about the emotional part unless there was abuse. Divorce IS emotional for all…Wife, Husband, Children and Family. The tone sounds like you want him to “pay” (literally and figuratively) for what has happened. Unfortunately, the courts will look at numbers, legal circumstances and come to a resolution you will have to abide and live with…him too.

Abandonment generally applies to financial issues, if he left and continued to provide you with support, the fact that he left in and of itself will not have a great deal of impact on alimony. However, the fact that he left you for another woman and did not give you any warning that he was going to do this, is a factor that would affect alimony positively in your favor.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

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Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

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Chapel Hill, NC 27514
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Ready to go to trial for permanent alimony. Definitely a dependent spouse with him earning 85% and me 15% of the family income. He has openly lived with another women since he separated so illicit sexual behavior will be a factor. My question is what exactly is defined as abandonment. He left the family home abruptly after stating he found a “soulmate” He bought a home the next week and never looked back. The months and weeks prior to leaving he gave no indication of unhappiness, in fact he was working on home repairs and had just paid for the renovation of a bathroom and a new heating and air unit. Like I said, no talk of unhappiness and therefore no suggestion of marriage counselling. He simply made the decision himself, and then left me holding the bag with a large home to take care of and 4 minor children. He provided some financial support but I filed and have now received PSS and child support via court orders. Is this enough to say he abandoned the home and how much does that count towards the eventual alimony award.