You would be responsible for any bills that have your name unless you have an agreement. I would suggest that since he wants to stay in the marital home, you should get a separation agreement stating that from X date household bills and payments be the sole responsibility of you husband. If you leave, make sure that the phone, power and any other household utilities have his name only on the bill. The mortgage would have to be refinanced to remove your name but you could have that put into the papers that he will have the home refinance by a specific date and until that time he will continue to make payments.
You are both entitled to 1/2 the marital assets and debts so that means that you are entitled to 1/2 the equity in the home up to the date of separation and are responsible for 1/2 the mortgage until the date of separation. The utilities and other bills you will just need to get your name off the accounts if possible.
A separation agreement is always a good idea because it saves time down the road with splitting assets and debts. Things can change a lot in a year and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with what you had at the time of separation. This also keeps the spouse from selling off assets or increasing marital debt purposely.

If you earn more income than your spouse you may have an obligation to him for spousal support. If that is the case and you leave, you would be abandoning him and that could have negative legal consequences for you in the future.

If your daughter is going to live with your husband full time, then it is likely you will owe a duty of child support. You can find a child support calculator on our website, which should tell you what your support obligation will be.

I would not move out before you have at least one appointment with an attorney. There may be other legal implications that need to be addressed before separation.

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

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

I want to leave my marital residence so that I can start my separation date. I want to sell the house, but my husband wants to live their with our 17 year old until she finishes high school, which is another year. I do not want to live with him for another year. If he refuses to sell the house, can I leave and refuse to pay 1/2 of the mortgage and bills?