Asking for Separation--What are my rights?

I need to know what rights I have if I choose to separate from my husband. We have been married for not quite 9 years and have 3 children together. He refuses to move out of the house because he says he doesn’t want the separation.

1–is it possible to separate and live in the same house? We have 2200 sq. ft. and a bonus room over the garage. If we live totally separately, under the same roof, is that considered separated in the eyes of the court? or do we have to be out from under the same roof?

2–if we want to do this without the lawyers, etc, can we write up a separation agreement and stick to it ourselves? Can we decide custody, support, etc?

3–How is spousal support determined? He makes about 2 times what I do, so I’m trying to figure out what that would mean for alimony. (I make $33k, he makes $75k)

Any advice would be incredibly helpful!

You cannot be separated and live in the same house. You can write up a separation (rosen has a template) and have it notarized, it doesn’t need to be filed in the court. You may ask for divorce 1 year and one day after separation.
Rosen has a child support calculator that is very helpful.
Hope this helps…

  1. Yes

  2. Yes and yes.

  3. See the child support calculator here:

NOT an attorney

I myself have been trying to find an alimony calculator and do not think it exists. Attorneys will tell you it depends on too many factors to simplify into a calculation. From what I understand, oftentimes you calculate what money is left over from each of you at the end of each month (living separately and paying at single tax rates, keep in mind), and even things out from there. I imagine most people not having anything left over at the end of the month and therefore no alimony or very little alimony being paid, so you should plan on living on your own income.

There is no alimony calculator.

It is determined by reasonable needs of the dependent spouse and the other spouse’s ability to pay.

You’re right that North Carolina doesn’t have alimony guidelines (and thus, no calculator), but we just created a calculator that might be helpful. Our calculator will give you a sense of what might happen in some other jurisdictions and that might help you figure out your situation here.

Check it out -

Good luck.


I used the alimony calculator that Lee Rosen posted. Fortunately, it does not apply to NC because NC is more realistic and takes into account the ability to pay. Using any of those calculated amounts I would be broke in two months and would no longer be able to pay it or child support. That would not be good for the kids or anyone else. Now I see why an alimony calculator is ridiculous.