Can I force him to buy me out?

I’m pretty sure that (at least in NC), separation requires different addresses, so your separation wouldn’t start until 2/1.

You can (when drafting the agreement, so I don’t know whether you can do it now), put in a requirement that the spouse retaining the house purchase the departing spouse’s interest and refinance the house in the resident spouse’s sole name. (Whether your spouse would be capable of complying is a different kettle of fish.)

It would be actively disrecommended to lie about the separation date. If your spouse wants a divorce faster, there are legal (but cumbersome) methods for doing so. (For example, one can take up legal residence in a state with a short residency requirement, and a minimal separation requirement, if any.)

From what I’ve been told, there are means of forcing a division of property (even after a divorce has been finalized), but if your house is already on the market, the proceedings may not do any good. See if you can get a referral to an attorney that does partitioning.

Sounds as though you have a bit of a bargaining chip if he is living in the house but your name is on the mortgage.

Your date of separation is the date that you begin to live separate and apart. That appears to be February 1, 2007 based on your post. You cannot and should not lie on legal documents. Not only are you committing perjury which is punishable by contempt, you will also be receiving a void divorce. That means you are not legally divorced and if you ever get married in the future, you would jeopardize your property rights from a future marriage.

You have a right to an equitable distribution of your property which would include half of all the assets accumulated during the marriage. The equity in the house would be one of those things. If you cannot get him to agree to divide the property a court can force him to do this. A court will generally order the proprety sold, or distribute the home to one party and require them to pay out the equity to the other.

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

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My husband and I have been separated since 12/26/06 (still in the same house). The kids and I moved out 2/1/07 because he said that he would not leave even though he no longer wanted to be married and had started dating. We have since come up with an “agreement” via e-mail regarding visitation, child support, property distribution, etc. Our marital home has been on the market since late March with no buyers, and today he called to see if I would agree to lie about our separation date so that we can get our divorce faster in order for him to marry his new girlfriend. One - I’m not comfortable with lying any legal documents. Two - I’m not comfortable with my name still being on the mortgage. Is it possible for me to force him to buy me out? This is the 2nd time that we’ve separated, but the attorney I retained last time is booked up and there’s not much left on the retainer…funds are LIMITED! Bottom line - I just want to make sure that I’m not getting the short end of the stick in this whole thing.