Investment property

How are the properties titled at this time? If the properties are jointly titled, you are just as responsible for these properties as he is. Are you separated? It sounds as though you are still married and if the properties were acquired during the marriage, it makes no difference how the properties are titled. The properties are considered “joint” until equitable distribution occurs either by agreement or by order of the court. You might be able to “quit claim” the properties if you do not want them, but until the properties are declared rightfully yours or rightfully his, you both are responsible. He would be a fool to burn any properties. Not only is that illegal, it would be considered waste/destruction of marital assets. He’s “blowing smoke”. Pardon.

OK. You haven’t even separated. You have no job, no education, no money and kids to support. Apparently, he is the “breadwinner”. First of all, how long have you been married? How long have you not worked outside the home? His threats are just that. He likes the control. YOU have to make a decision here. Beg, borrow, steal…whatever it takes while he is gone to get yourself out of this situation! Don’t sell out on the properties! Go collect the rent yourself while he is gone! Please see a lawyer! Obviously, you are the dependent spouse. Adultery isn’t a big deal if you are DEPENDENT! Let your mother (grandma) take care of the kids while you get your life in order! If you can, close joint accounts! I know no lawyer would recommend this, but do it NOW! Take credit cards and max out the cash withdrawals! DO IT NOW! Yes, it may come back to bite you, but DO IT NOW! If you want him gone, you have got to STOP listening to him! If you are the dependent spouse, he will have to pay you something and will have to pay child support! DO NOT LISTEN to him! Do what is best for you and don’t give up anything at this time!

It sounds to me as if you do not have full access to bank accounts? Of is it you are afraid to take more than a certain amount out at a time? I am afraid I disagree with lostinspace’s advice.

I would definitely open my own banking account if you’re planning on separating from him. If he gives you any money, put it in there. I do not agree on ‘maxing out’ credit cards for the cash. If you need it for attorney purposes, then fine, but anything you max out, you’ll be liable to help pay for-job or no job. You will be eligible for alimony if you are the dependent spouse. You are also due 1/2 the assets…including rental property. Surely he would be stupid to burn anything down for fear of legal prosecution. Use the rentals to your advantage-don’t see it as a burden.

I know you want a clean break, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Use your smartness to prepare yourself the best you can for what may lie ahead. #1 is to get legal advice. #2 is to plan how you are going to take care of yourself and your kids. #3 is don’t do anything that may bite you in the ass later (ie: max out credit cards for the cash, close joint account). You can close anything that you allowed him to use (ie: credit card). If he has you on one of HIS credit cards as a user, you can remove yourself as a user (keep the date of removal in your file). If you try to hide money, and he finds out, you will owe him 1/2 that money. If you know of any accounts he has and have access to the totals, get it down on paper. Run a credit report on you and him now while you’re still married, and see what it has on it.

It’s a lot of work. It’s emotional. But you have to do it if this is what you really want out of the situation…the end of your marriage.

I second comingclean2’s advice. Go into protection mode. Separate your finances, run a credit report on him, put a block on your own credit so that he can’t take out anything else in your name, take your name off of his credit cards and keep a written/dated record of when it occurs. You are entitled to 1/2 the value/income of the rental properties…and if he burns them down, you are entitled to 1/2 of the property insurance payout!

Do NOT max out credit cards as you are equally liable for them and do not take all of the family money…however…1/2 you are entitled to have. Open up a new account in a different bank with that.

I’m not sure about the legality, but since he has left the house, perhaps you could change the locks. If you are worried about your safety, then depending upon your history, you may wish to pursue a restraining order.

…and I hate to point this out, but are you so sure that he hasn’t had another affair since then? Might be worth getting a PI, if you can find a way to afford one.

Other than that, record everything you can, force as much of the communication into writing that you can and keep a record. If there’s any way you can get him to talk about any threats to property or person while you are recording his voice, that would be great too.

Remember. There is nothing stopping him from closing out the accounts himself or maxing the cards. My ex did this to me. I had no job. No money. No nothing. Just don’t want this to happen to anyone else. Happened to my mother too and neither one of us had anything for quite some time. Neither “man” was held responsible. The women suffer and no one cares!

The difficultly will depend on whether or not he has the ability to refinance the mortgages. If the mortgages are all in his name, it will not be difficult to transfer the deed to the property into his name.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

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

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780


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