Marital home, alimony


Dear arp1:

Greetings. Thank you for the comments on our website and I apologize for the delay in responding…here goes:

  1. Yes, I agree that you will need to sell the home, but the first thing is to retain an attorney for a legal/financial analysis and to draft up the separation agreement which will contain how everything will be distributed. Selling the house seems the only option.

  2. No, you would not want to purchase another house together if the rental is available to live in. The key word in the last sentence was “together.” If your spouse cannot afford the mortgage now, when will she be able to obtain one in her own name? Buying another piece of property together may obligate you for the life of the loan to be on the mortgage…which may restrict your future real estate ownership. Possibly selling the rental and using the funds to buy something else in your spouse’s name (maybe her parents as co-signers) is an option though. THE KEY: Watch how you make new ties while trying to divide up, separate, and sever old ties with your spouse.

  3. She doesn’t like the look, the neighborhood, the size? This is irrelevant if you won’t buy more property with her in your name also.

  4. Yes, there are rules for child support, but no there are not hard line rules for alimony. Making sure that both parties have sufficient cash flow is essential though. Your attorney can help you to determine the appropriate amount range for alimony.

  5. It sounds to me like you have no other option but to cohabitate until the house sells.

  6. Not necessarily, but it depends on the entire situation, her health problems, whether the insurance is comparable, etc. You only have to let your insurance know when you divorce.

Thank you…and please try to have a Happy Holiday with your children!

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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.


Thanks for this wonderful public service! My wife of 13 years and I are in need of a divorce. We’re both NC residents, we have 3 children ages 15, 10 & 7. I have several questions that I haven’t been able to find clear answers for yet.

  1. We live in a home that neither of us will be able to afford when we separate. We spend all of our monthly income on living expenses - pay check to pay check. We also own a rental home that we used to live in. We’re thinking that the first thing to do is sell our house so we’ll have the funds to live separately. I can’t even afford a room elsewhere at this point so we’re still living together.

  2. If you agree that we should sell our home, should we purchase another less expensive place for her and the kids to live before our separation? She won’t be able to qualify for a mortgage.

  3. My preference would be to give her our rental home to live in but she doesn’t like it. I would prefer not to purchase another home at this point.

  4. Is there a limit to the amount of income I can be forced to pay for child support and alimony? I used the CS calculator and have determined that based on my gross monthly income of $6000 and hers of $1200 I’ll be paying about $1300 a month in CS. I know based on our incomes that I’ll be paying alimony too. Her earning potential is not great and she has some on-going medical problems that, at some point, may make it necessary for her not to work. My question relates to my ablility to “live” on what I have left. I want to be assured that I won’t be living in a shelter after our separation. I want to continue to take care of my kids and help her as much as possible, but I also need to be able to continue my career and be focused on earning an income.

  5. So far, we have been able to live together even knowing we will be separating only because we both realize there’s no money for me to move. Should we continue to try to co-habitate until the house sells or would you strongly advise against this?

  6. She has medical ins. available through her State job at no cost. Would I have to continue to provide insurance for her? If so, would she be able to stay on the ins. I have through my job or am I compelled to inform them that I am separated and/or divorced?