Moving this week


Greetings and thank you for your most helpful website!

I am moving from MR this week and have just a few questions after reviewing much on this forum:
I cannot get spouse to sign SA prior to moving, though have been asked by spouse to leave multiple times this year, (and numerous times over last 10), I have primary but modest income, (read: broke!) 1 almost 18 child, have suffered financial abuse, own home, mtg, debts, and actual bruising battery few weeks ago, (thought not life threatening). No AA or CC.

Before I go, should I

  1. put 1/2 paycheck in joint acct?
  2. give any written notification of Separation Intent?
  3. file for custody (though willing 50/50)
  4. discontinue non-essential utilities (cable, phone, internet)
  5. file Les Pendens
  6. notify credit cards and bank
  7. anything else I’ve overlooked?

I had to hoped to resolve SA and ED with spouse directly and equitably, but don’t want to be stupid either. Is there a problem with presenting a written checklist of “Voluntary vs. Legal Alternative” approaches for spouses review before I leave?

Thank you so much for the thoughts and advice!


It sounds like you have all the basis covered. If you have a separate bank account, 1/2 the money can be transferred to that account.
You have given notice of intent to separate in the form of the separation agreement, though it is not signed. As long as you are taking care of financial obligations, abandonment is not an issue.
I do not suggest that you have anything turned off. I suggest that you contact all of the utilities and let them know that your name will need to be removed from the account for that address. You should let your spouse know that you are doing this so they can have them billed in their name alone. Let your spouse know that after the date of separation (the day you move) you will not be responsible for those bills any longer. You may have to pay a portion of the next bill since those are normally paid in advance of use…
You should probably get a copy of the statements from the bank and credit card companies. After the date of separation, these are no longer marital debts. You will need to have the credit card accounts closed and re-open in your name or not as you choose. But you will need a copy of the statement for the date leading up to the date of separation.


There is no specific requirement as to how much of your pay check should be deposited into the joint account, in fact you are not required to deposit any of your pay check in the account. That begin said, contributing towards the monthly expenses is normally a good idea, in order to protect your credit and ensure the bills are paid.

It is not necessary to give any written notification of intent to Separation, your moving out of the residence to begin living elsewhere is sufficient to start the period of separation. I do recommend you let your spouse know that she will need to transfer the utilities into her name by a date certain, or they will be cut off.

It is not necessary to file Lis Pendens on the martial residence if you own it jointly. But I do recommend removing your spouse as an authorized user on your credit accounts.

With respect to custody, if your child is turning 18 in the next few months, the suit would seem to me to be futile.


Thank you both for your prompt replies.

One comment caught my attn, that upon separation the debt would no longer be marital. The debt is still jointly 50/50 both parties responsibility, right?

Also, I’m afraid that as long as I still “own” the MR I will move out of, wouldn’t it appear imprudent if I discontinued payments? Could that be used against me in Alimony or Custody claims?

Many thanks again.


The existing debt is marital, any new debts created after the date of separation are separate. As for the house, you should contribute what you can to ensure the payments are made and your credit is protected, but you will also need to have a reasonable amount of your paychecks left over to support yourself in your new household.


Thank you very much for your reply and assistance. I highly recommend your services. Best of successes to you.


You are welcome, I wish you the best as well.