I’m not sure what affect abandonment has on some situations but legally a separation can not begin until one spouse leaves the marital home. If there is a separation agreement then there would be no issue of abandonment to question, but leaving without a signed agreement in place is often necessary. As long as your friend is making an effort to negotiate the separation and is not neglecting his finacial responsibilities, abandonment is not such a big issue. True abandonment would be if he left…didn’t let her know he was leaving…and didn’t attempt to keep up his responsibilities to the marital debt or child(ren).
Either spouse can request alimony if the other makes more money. Having an affair will negate any claim for alimony but I do not believe that merely separating would give the dependent spouse cause to request it.

Alimony is based on the income of each parties and the income and expenses of each party. If the parties make the same income then it is unlikely that one would get alimony.

If he leaves then he could be abandoning her, however the impact of this conduct will vary based on the financial circumstances of the parties. If he intends to move out, he should consult with an attorney before doing so.

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

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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.

Asking for a friend - NOT ME! What are the legalities involved in abandonment? He & wife have not been getting along, no love left in teh relationship; wants to know if he leaves can she get him for abandonment? Will he have to pay alimony? (I think they make about the same income.)