Protecting rights if I move out


You should at least consult with an attorney prior to moving so they can go over your options. One option is filing for divorce from bed & board, normally just a formality, but would force your spouse to leave the marital residence if the grounds are met. I’ve heard that this is rarely used due to the length of time it takes to get to court…
If you do leave, you should get some sort of agreement drawn up to protect yourself. His option of staying in the marital home would be based on his ability to pay, unless he is a dependent spouse. The home would need to be refinanced so that your name is removed from the mortgage. Until that time, you would still be finacially responsible for the loan. The same would be true of any other finacial obligation that you shared during your marriage. If he is not able to have the home refinaced, you would then have the option of “buying him out”. Paying him 1/2 the equity up to the date of separation. All this could be put into the separation agreement.
My suggestion is to at least discuss this with an attorney to find out what other options you have.


Even if you move out it does not mean that you have waived your right to the house. You can negotiate for possession or ask the court to grant it to you if you are unable to reach an agreement with him. Without reviewing your finances, I cannot tell you if you should pay the mortgage.

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

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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Several times, I’ve seen a reference of “before you move, you should talk to an atty.” I really have not planned to move but I’m beginning to think that is my only option. My stbx has not been willing to move. He can’t afford to stay in the house and pay utilities, etc. (not to mention child support.) So, if I move out, should I continue to pay part of the mortgage? I’m afraid if I have to do that, he’ll be able to swing it and never leave! However, if I move out, it is likely that he will lose the house and I could hopefully get it back. Help!