How to afford to separate?

My wife and I are both living in our house. The mortgage is in her name and she wants to stay in the house with our young child. We are both on the deed. Her income is 3x what I make but she is unwilling to provide support for me to move out.

What action can I file to ask the Court for support while still living in the house?


Until you are separated, you will be unable to file in court for postseparation support or alimony. One of you will have to move out of the marital residence in order to be separated.

It is possible to negotiate the terms of a separation (including equitable distribution, alimony, child custody, and child support) before you actually separate. This can be done by negotiating and executing a separation agreement and property settlement. Once the separation agreement is executed, then one of you will move out per the agreed upon terms.

The benefit to this is that when you do separate, you know exactly who gets what property, who is to pay what, how much money you will have coming in, when you will have your child, etc. The downside is that in order to be effective, both spouses have to be willing to voluntarily negotiate the terms of the separation. So if one spouse is refusing or is being unreasonable, attempting to enter into a separation agreement contemporaneously with the physical separation will not work.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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