Normally, since you have an agreement there would be little you could do. But if you can show that he has voluntarily reduced his income and is knowingly putting the mortgage in danger of foreclosure the courts could force him to uphold the agreement that he signed in the beginning or come up with a new amount.

  1. My suggestion would be that the home is refinanced to get his name removed and you file for alimony so that the money is paid to you instead of paying the mortgage. This at least will get his name off the home and will mean that he no longer has control of your credit…but it will also mean that you will be responsible for the payment regardless of whether or not he pays you.

  2. He can reduce his annual income, but if you can show that his income reduction was voluntary, then the courts could force him to pay the previous amount based on salary potential.

As far as the children go…I will only say this. If he has proposed to this woman then she is going to be in his life. I suggest that you have a talk with the children about this. Get a working visitation schedule and stick to it. This is their father and they legally have no say in this at the moment. NC prefers that each parent be as involved with their child as possible and will default to joint legal custody if custody is not agreed on or determined in court. They may not see it now, but they need to have time with their father. They need to have time to get to know this woman and her children if they are going to be related to them. My suggestion is that you talk to your ex about this. This is not about you or him, it’s about the children and what’s best for them.

If the Separation Agreement requires that he pay the mortgage on time and he is not doing so you can sue him for Breach of Contract. At your hearing the court may put penalties on him based on what your contract states. The court may impose a monetary penalty for his failure to pay the mortgage on time.

I am not sure what your concern is regarding his reduced income, is he attempting to reduce child support?

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.

My husband and I have been separated since February 1, 2007. At the time of separation, our credit rating and payments to creditors was good. The separation agreement stated that my husband was responsible to pay certain accounts, including our mortgage, each month. He has continuely paid all of our joint accounts 30+ days behind, causing my credit rating to go down significantly. He states he is doing the best he can, but I wonder when he has proposed to another woman, purchased an engagement ring, and has moved in with her and her children. Which leads me to another question, when we agreed upon visitation, it was everyother weekend. It has been 3 months since he has taken our children. They have refused to spend the night at his new home, and that he has decided then they will not spend the night. He has also limited his income from $10,000/month to $6,000/month - to limit his amount of child support.

My questions are:

  1. Do I have an type of recourse to get him to pay the mortgage current? I am frightened of foreclosure notices.

  2. For the 21 years of marriage, I was used to a certain income, can you reduce his annual income to spite me?

Please help!!!