In NC your spouse is entitled to 1/2 the marital assets. You can not get rid of property or assets that could potentially be hers or would need to be divided. The home, can either be refinanced if her name is on the mortgage and she can sign a quit claim deed to remove name from the deed.

Since she has moved and not taken any of her stuff with her, you are responsible for those items until the absolute divorce.
I suggest two things. First, get a separation agreement drawn up so that it will state what furniture, and other household items belong to each of you. You can consult with an attorney for this or get a DIY divorce kit. Send this to her. If she does not sign the agreement, you can wait until the absolute divorce is final and then dispose or use the belongings.
My suggestion is that you also include a time frame that the items belonging to her are “stored” at the home. You can also have put into the agreement that after that time is past, if the belongings still are not retrieved, they will become your property to dispose of or use at your own discretion.
The other option would be to have her pay for at least 1/2 the shipping cost to have the belongings sent to her.
I have a friend who moved all of his wife’s stuff to a storage unit, paid for the first month and gave her the key. He told the manager that she would be responsible for any payments after the first month.

You should not throw out her belongings until the two of you have resolved all of your marital financial issues.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

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

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (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.

My wife left me in July 2008 after the marriage in November 2007, re-locating back to Louisiana and taking her children with her. We got married in Louisiana but lived in North Carolina as married. She has left her belongings in the house (clothes,furniture, the kids clothes,etc). Since she has technically abandoned the house and me, can I throw out her things? The house is in both our names; however, my name was added just prior to the marriage…