Can Spouse Remove Me From our Marital Home?

I have been Married for 6.5 Years, living in the Marital home for 7 yrs, together for 8 yrs. The Marital home is in my husband’s name. After an argument 3 weeks ago, my husband announced that he is divorcing me while I was leaving town for a week on business. When I returned, he had gone out of town on holiday. I relieved the pet sitter and resumed residence; when he found out I came home (assuming I wouldn’t return) he asked me to vacate the house. I said I was staying, that I did not want a divorce, that our problems were not insurmountable, counselling was an option, etc… He said it is over and he packed a bag and moved in with his parents. He has since sent me an email since asking me to vacate the home; that it is his home and to be fair he would help pay for an apartment. I do not want to leave. I do not want a divorce. I am his dependent, I am full-time in school and only work PRN/on-call which is unreliable at best. He has returned to the home 1 time since to collect more belongings. I had the locks changed the other day because I am alone and wanted security because too many people have had a key to the home with ongoing construction. I told him I changed the locks for safety. I told him I would not give him a key, but I would let him in the house any time he needed. He is the breadwinner and everything is in his name-car, house, bank accounts…I am completely cut off…Afraid that he can evict me, force me out of the home??? Feeling Helpless and need reassurance, guidance, advice. Thank you.

He can’t evict you without a decision of a judge.

Changing the locks and don’t give him a key is not a good idea neither, you just will put some oil on the fire.
(and basically you evict him when it’s still his home.)

If he is sincere that he wants you to take an other place and pay for it, make him sign a paper in front of the notary, same for the marital assets, take a lawyer and ask alimony at least until you finish school. Find a job, and move on, you marriage is clearly over even if you don’t want that, it needs two to be a couple and it’s not the case anymore, and you shouldn’t rely on him financially (except for a short period of time)

You don’t talk about children so I assume you don’t have any together ?

Maxippouce & Forum,

Thank you for your response…are you an attorney? or speaking from experience? To answer your question, yes, we do have a child. However, biologically she is his but I have raised her part-time custody of 2 wks w/us & rotating 2 wks w/mother for the past 8 yrs. The argument took place while my (step)daughter was away, and when she returned My husband refused to let her see me and took her to live with him at his parents. I have not seen or spoken with her since he left the marital home. This is fueling my emotional duress of being left, and having everything taken away.

Back to the topic/question I am seeking and answer:

To clarify, I am not evicting my husband from the home, he can come any time he needs-I just need to let him in. He is the one who left, I need safety and security in the area I live. In all honestly, I do not plan or want to leave the Marital home, I have assisted in the building of the home over the past 8 years, I have invested in it and believe that I should be able to stay.

Which returns me to my original question…can I stay since in the marital home if it is in his name, but he is the one who chose to move out? I believe that if he wants to leave, to pursue a divorce, then he can also begin a new life elsewhere from our home…am I incorrect in assuming this? Seeking Lawyer advice, guidance, only going off the PDF what to know before you leave. It said I can change the locks. It said I can stay, but would like reassurance of my NC legal rights. Thank you.

Did he buy the house before your marriage ?
If it’s the case during the equitable distribution there is a big chance that he will have HIS house back, but he will have to pay you half of the principle you paid when you were married (or half of the difference d’equity on the day of the marriage and the day of the separation)

For his daughter, how old is she ?
It’s very sad but it will be very difficult to have any right to visit your step-daughter, the best in those situations is to negotiate (and compromise) with him, but if he wants to divorce you he will want to cut off all contact, overall if there is some tension.

Actually I believe maxippouce may be incorrect.
For starters he left the home, that is abandonment. 2nd if he purchased the house prior to the marriage, then yes, you are still entitled to equity in the home. he cannot evict you, he is your husband not a landlord. Is the deed in both of your names?
3rd you are entitled to spousal support since he abandoned the home/marriage.
4th DO NOT LEAVE THAT HOUSE!! You don’t have to, unless ordered by a judge & I seriously doubt that will happen.
5th Yes you can change the locks!! He left & abandoned the home, at this point IF he came to the house without permission/arrangement with you, it is considered criminal trespassing & can be arrested.
If he is serious about divorce, he cannot file for a year, but can file for equitable distribution. Meanwhile you might consider filing for ED,pss, alimony (equitable distribution, post separation support, alimony) if there is no reconciliation planned on his part.
I would consider a post separation support hearing soon if he decides not to give you financial support.
You are his dependent, and he has an obligation.
also look around in your area for a free consultation with an attorney who can at least explain to you your rights.
Hoping the best for you.

Response to Waterfall…

Thank you for the kind words and the information about what my legal rights are regarding the marital home. To answer your question, Yes the house was originally his. I moved in a year after he. We refinanced 2 times since then, the most recent 1 month ago. I am thinking that in itself should change the how the house may be viewed as his or mine or ours???

You are absolutely right, he left, he has cut me off financially, and it is unfair and cruel. I am seeking legal counsel this week to get a more clear picture of where this path could take me. I am truly not looking forward to the journey…not what I had planned for my life, not at all.

Very grateful for the response to my post! Thank you!

your welcome EllaNYU,
Here is a review :

§ 50-16.3A. Alimony.

(a) Entitlement. - In an action brought pursuant to Chapter 50 of the General Statutes, either party may move for alimony. The court shall award alimony to the dependent spouse upon a finding that one spouse is a dependent spouse, that the other spouse is a supporting spouse, and that an award of alimony is equitable after considering all relevant factors, including those set out in subsection (b) of this section. If the court finds that the dependent spouse participated in an act of illicit sexual behavior, as defined in G.S. 50-16.1A(3)a., during the marriage and prior to or on the date of separation, the court shall not award alimony. If the court finds that the supporting spouse participated in an act of illicit sexual behavior, as defined in G.S. 50-16.1A(3)a., during the marriage and prior to or on the date of separation, then the court shall order that alimony be paid to a dependent spouse. If the court finds that the dependent and the supporting spouse each participated in an act of illicit sexual behavior during the marriage and prior to or on the date of separation, then alimony shall be denied or awarded in the discretion of the court after consideration of all of the circumstances. Any act of illicit sexual behavior by either party that has been condoned by the other party shall not be considered by the court.

The claim for alimony may be heard on the merits prior to the entry of a judgment for equitable distribution, and if awarded, the issues of amount and of whether a spouse is a dependent or supporting spouse may be reviewed by the court after the conclusion of the equitable distribution claim.

(b) Amount and Duration. - The court shall exercise its discretion in determining the amount, duration, and manner of payment of alimony. The duration of the award may be for a specified or for an indefinite term. In determining the amount, duration, and manner of payment of alimony, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) The marital misconduct of either of the spouses. Nothing herein shall prevent a court from considering incidents of post date-of-separation marital misconduct as corroborating evidence supporting other evidence that marital misconduct occurred during the marriage and prior to date of separation;

(2) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the spouses;

(3) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the spouses;

(4) The amount and sources of earned and unearned income of both spouses, including, but not limited to, earnings, dividends, and benefits such as medical, retirement, insurance, social security, or others;

(5) The duration of the marriage;

(6) The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;

(7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a spouse will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child;

(8) The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage;

(9) The relative education of the spouses and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking alimony to find employment to meet his or her reasonable economic needs;

(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses and the relative debt service requirements of the spouses, including legal obligations of support;

(11) The property brought to the marriage by either spouse;

(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker;

(13) The relative needs of the spouses;

(14) The federal, State, and local tax ramifications of the alimony award;

(15) Any other factor relating to the economic circumstances of the parties that the court finds to be just and proper.

(16) The fact that income received by either party was previously considered by the court in determining the value of a marital or divisible asset in an equitable distribution of the parties’ marital or divisible property.

© Findings of Fact. - The court shall set forth the reasons for its award or denial of alimony and, if making an award, the reasons for its amount, duration, and manner of payment. Except where there is a motion before the court for summary judgment, judgment on the pleadings, or other motion for which the Rules of Civil Procedure do not require special findings of fact, the court shall make a specific finding of fact on each of the factors in subsection (b) of this section if evidence is offered on that factor.

(d) In the claim for alimony, either spouse may request a jury trial on the issue of marital misconduct as defined in G.S. 50-16.1A. If a jury trial is requested, the jury will decide whether either spouse or both have established marital misconduct. (1995, c. 319, s. 2; c. 509, s. 135.2(b); 1998-176, s. 11.)

As for the marital home, it could at some point in time be considered a marital gift, therefore half yours. You mentioned WE refinanced, so it will be up to a judge.
However, if not, you are still entitled to proceeds that increased the value of the home.
Now that you have access to information before it disappears from him, gather bank account statements, ALL financial info, even prior refi documents. Check stubs, taxes filed, vehicle information, any receipts for furniture, jewelry, tools, electronics.

If you are without resources, I would recommend Rosen online services to get you started on a ED claim (each is a separate claim! ED, PSS, Alimony, but can be all done at the same time on your document you file) . They will walk you through what needs to be done @ $199 month.
This is such a blessing!! Secure your future by at least filing the ED, PSS, & Alimony claim, get yourself some financial relief.

Also just a note - Don’t date (considered adultery), or move a potential lover into that home, you are still married & many people make this mistake and lose out. Also do not post anything on any social web sites, email or text that will come back & haunt you!

Hoping the best for you!!

He left the house for 3 weeks, that’s not abandoning the house (a lawyer will twist that very quickly and he can easily show that is just temporary and that you changed the locks and you are the one who does not let him in.)

It seems you have a degree or about to have one and you are able to work just after that, he offers you to help you (by paying an apartment for example), it will be very hard now a day to make believe a judge he “gave” you as a gift half of the house.
(if you refinance, you have your name on the deed of trust, but not the deed, it doesn’t change that it was a separated property and stayed like that)

He will maybe have to pay some alimony (that will be less that the rent he offers you to pay), just the time you finish school.
but after the equitable distribution, even if he cheated on you, abandon the house or anything, it doesn’t enter in count for the judgment.
It was a separated property, AND he has to provide for his kid.
The kid as dependent will always be first vs a grown adult dependent.

at least you are entitled to half of the increase of the equity for the house (included the reduction of capital) + half of the marital assets.

Also, you said you left 1 week for business, so it seems you work maybe more than just on call ?

Without a kid together, it will be easy for a lawyer to show that you have no reason to be his dependent for long term after the divorce, that you could rely on him financially for a short period of time, the time to adjust, but if a judge see that you don’t make any effort to adjust (finish school as quickly as possible; or make more money than you pretend) he will cut off any kind of alimony.
(you cannot take the excuse you sacrificed your career for a child.

It would be time to become independent.

I am going to focus on the questions you have posed, rather than addressing everything raised in the non-attorney responses. Some responses have gone beyond the scope of your original question and raised issues of alimony, step children, abandonment, and even potential new relationships.

Your original question was about whether your husband could evict you. There is no vehicle for your husband to evict you. If he has left the home, and you cannot come to an agreement regarding the house, he can file a claim for equitable distribution, and file a motion for interim distribution of the house and ask the court that he be allowed to move back in.

Without knowing more about the details of the refinance, I can’t say whether that action alone changed the ownership of the home. Aside from the refinance, if he owned the home prior to the marriage, it is considered his separate property. However, you should get some value from the equity of the home based on the mortgage payments made during the marriage, if they were made with marital funds.

Dear Lindsay,

Thank you for your response to my discussion post. I found the information and links you provided very helpful.

Warmest Regards,