If move out without a signed separation agreement, do I forfeit my right to our primary residence or any other physical property?

My wife and I have decided to get separated and she has insisted she isn’t moving out. She has asked me to move out. She doesn’t want to sign anything at this time. I am ok with moving out, I just have informed her at some point she will have to “buy” me out for half the value of the home. We have no mortgage on the home. If I move out without a signed agreement, will I be forfeiting my right to half the house or any other physical property? I do plan to continue paying the household bills for her and our children.

If you move out without a signed agreement, you do not forfeit any marital interest or marital value there is in the home. You are still entitled to one-half of the marital value of the home even if you move out and separate.

And you are still entitled to personal property and one-half the value of other marital property such as savings accounts, retirement accounts, etc.


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

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.

So, me moving into a rental home, while continuing to pay for the primary residence, where she will continue to live, will not be considered abandonment?

No, but you should give notice that you plan to move out and if possible, attempt to reach a mutual agreement about you moving out.

It would also be a good idea to put in writing via an email or letter that states exactly what household bills you will continue to pay for until a final settlement can be reached.


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

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.

Thank you Anna, we are both in agreement about me moving out, she has been asking me to for weeks now. I will send her an email detailing the bills, etc.