Constructively abandoned?

You do not have to have a separation agreement prior to leaving the home but it is advisable to consult with an attorney. Abandonment would mean that you left the home with no intention of keeping your finacial responsibilities intact. If you pay an amount for child support and keep up your finacial responsibilities, have let your STBX know your intentions to leave the home for separation then it is not considered abandonment in reality. One of you must leave for the separation to begin and if you have made the effort of separation agreement, regardless of her unwillingness to cooperate, the courts would see that.
I suggest that you consult an attorney to find out where you stand. Have a separation agreement drawn up, even if she doesn’t sign it, and keep good records. If you file for “Divorce from Bed & Board” it would force her to leave the marital residence for the reasons you mentioned. If you pay anything to her, make sure you keep a record of it (Check or money order).

In order to answer this question I would need to do an in depth review of your specific situation.

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.

I’m at wits end with the STBX. She has no intention on obtaining a lawyer but instead wants to remain the status quo, outright hostility, constant berating me to others and speaking of committing infidelity. How risky is it for me to leave the home without an abandonment agreement, choosing instead to seek to be able to leave due to the living conditions being intolerable? How big of a chance will I be taking when in front of a judge? I can’t take much more, I’m hesitant to leave because of my son.