Not sure...need help

A.) No. There is no separation. You can’t be separated if you are living in the same house. Furthermore, any “agreement” without your signed, notarized signature is invalid. He couldn’t have filed it with the court. He is lying to you.

Furthermore, the attorney is right. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING, ANYTHING WITHOUT HAVING YOUR ATTORNEY LOOK OVER IT FIRST. Once a separation agreement is signed, you are obligated to it. Courts consider a separation agreement to be a private contract and are reluctant to interfere or change anything.

B.) Yes, once you separate, you are the dependent spouse and he is the supporting spouse. That is how it has been for the last 11 months, so that is how it will be seen. He will be asked by the court to provide support for you. If he refuses, you can file a motion for post-separation support.

C.) Child support should start immediately upon separation. Use the calculators on this site to figure out the amount. If he doesn’t voluntarily pay it, you can get a court order to enforce payment.

It is in his best interests legally to go ahead and pay child support and at least some modicum of post-separation support. If he refuses to do this, it will not go kindly for him when it comes down to facing the judge later.

A.) You are not separated unless you actually live separate and apart.

B.) Yes, based on the facts in your post it appears that you are a dependent spouse and could pursue alimony.

C.) Child support starts as soon as the two of you enter into an agreement regarding child support, or it is ordered by the court.

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

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.

Husband of 9 years had a previous affair. We tried to reconcile, however his behavior hasn’t changed and he is now wanting to seperate. I agree that we need to, however, I am in school and unemployed (not willfully) and cannot afford to live in our home or anywhere else for that matter. We have one child. He approached me with seperation papers, and I refused to sign because the papers were waving basically all of my rights (equity, child support etc…). I cannot prove (hard evidence) that he is having another affair. Today he informed me that he filed the papers anyway and that we are seperated. We are still living together, I have not signed any papers, yet I do not share a bedroom with him. ? I have sought advice from a lawyer that said we can not live in the same home and be seperated and that I shouldn’t sign any paperwork. He has also opened a seperate checking account and says that he is only going to pay half of the bills.
A} Are we considered seperated if I haven’t signed the papers and we are still living together?
B} Can I pursue Spousal support since I am unemployed and I am relying on him to pay the majority of the bills? (unemployed for 11 months due to company closing).
C} When does child support start? I’m worried about providing for my child and uprooting her life more than necessarY?