My husband wants to separate - What are my rights as a Stay-at-home-Wife-and-Mom and what's fair for both of us?


#1

I have been married to my husband since 9-30-2008 (8 years) (been together a total of 16) and we have 3 children together; ages 15, 12, and 11. From July 19, 2017 - November 6, 2017 we were living in 2 different households, but reconciled in November after my husband closed on a new house and also purchased a brand new vehicle for his estranged 19 year old daughter. Now he wants to separate again and us sign separation papers while he is still living in the house. He says he’s not leaving until I sign. In a previous SAP he wanted me to sign, it listed his premarital properties (which one is actually not), listed the Waivers Of Rights, Claims, Or Benefits Relating To Wills, Trusts, Death Benefits, And Insurance Proceeds For Property Damage, Waivers of Claims against Estate, Mutual Release of Property Rights, addressed Child Custody and Care, amongst other standard SAP items (vehicles, health insurance, waiver of Alimony), but doesn’t list the house that was just bought in November or the new vehicle. Now he is telling me he’s going to let the kids and I stay in the new home, he’ll provide me with a vehicle - but we will have to find a different one without as large of a payment as the van I have now, he’ll continue to carry me on his health insurance until date of divorce - he says is indefinitely due to him not ever wanting to get married again, He says that he will not carry auto insurance on me and continuing to provide my cell phone is contingent upon how we are getting along. In the new SAP, he wants to list the new house as his sole property. He does not want to outline that I am able to live in the home (at least until our youngest graduates), does not want to include providing me with a vehicle or a cell phone (until I’m able to start making payments or get my own), telling me that he will make house payment, pay for the gas bill (hot water, dryer, fire places), and he’ll carry insurance. I will have to start paying for groceries for myself and kids, light bill, kids’ extra curricular activities, Auto insurance, gas, cell phone bill, and my personal bills. He has an attorney that is drawing the SAP up, but I asked him if we could go to a divorce counselor or mediator or someone that is objective to both of us. I think he has his attorney under the impression that we both have careers. All the things I listed may seem a little selfish or like demands, but I have been a STAY-AT-HOME WIFE & MOTHER the entire 8 years we’ve been married. My highest education is a GED and I was never able to finish going to college. I have not had a job since 2006. So basically, I have to start my entire life over again. I told him I was not asking him to set me up for life or make alimony payments to me, I just need him to continue helping me until I’m able to find some sort of job that I can start paying my way. He’s also very adamant that he is not paying for me to go to school. I told him we can put a time limit on the items I’d like listed and that if I haven’t figured it out by then, I’ll just have to deal with it. He informed me that he IS NOT committing to those things on paper, but the more I trust him, the more he’s willing to verbally agree to do for me. He isn’t in the greatest of health and we are making each other miserable and he also is currently talking to other women and he’s recently gone off with one. I truly do want him to be able to go out and find happiness, but I feel like it’s unfair that he do that and still have complete control of my life. He says that if I won’t sign the papers, he will not give me any of the tax money we just filed and that he will be retaining his lawyer and we’ll go to court and that if we go to court, I will definitely get much less than what he’s willing to give me. I really need some help and I just want to be fair to both of us. Please help!!!


#2

Since you have been a stay at home mother for the entire duration of the marriage, and if your husband has always worked and provided the income for the household and family, then you are likely entitled to postseparation support and alimony. The purpose of postseparation support and alimony is to place a dependent spouse in the same or similar standard of living as the parties were accustomed to during the marriage. To be awarded spousal support, your husband must have the ability to pay.

You will also likely be entitled to child support which is calculated separately from postseparation support and alimony.

The house your husband bought in November is likely marital property in which you would have an interest if he purchased the house using funds earned during the marriage.

If your husband is unwilling to negotiate with you, you may need to go to court and let a judge decide what is fair and reasonable in your case.


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.


#3

So if he’s the one wanting to separate and he’s already seeing other women, what do I do if he won’t leave? He’s doing this somewhat openly on social media and in front of our children. Still expects us to sleep in same room. Says he’s not leaving the home until I sign SAP. He also told me that he’s not giving me, personally, any cash for the grocery store and he’s not giving me any of our tax money (it was direct deposited into his bank account that does not have my name on it (but was opened after we married -had me on it for 4 years then took me off last year). He told me he will take care of his kids but he’s not responsible for me. He told me I’m using petty things I want in the agreement as leverage; housing security, vehicle, insurance, phone, and a personal bill, but he’s holding money over my head and telling me if we go to court that I will get so much less than I’m asking for. He’s not setting a good example for our kids and they ate scared of the way he’s acting. I’m really at my wit’s end.


#4

If he is not being reasonable in his negotiations for a separation agreement, then you will have to file litigation against him. You can file a divorce from bed and board claim initially in order to force a physical separation.

Going to court to reach resolutions on all issues (equitable distribution, postseparation support, alimony, child custody, and child support) will allow you to have your case heard by a judge who will issue orders that he or she thinks are fair and reasonable according to the law and your circumstances.


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.