Question about separate dwellings and financial obligations


#1

My wife and I are exploring dissolving our marriage. I have a child from a previous relationship but she is a young adult now and my wife and I have two children 9 and 16.

We live in the same house but have separated bedrooms since February 2010. Fall of 09 is when the marriage began to outwardly unravel. We have spent 2010 going to counseling and after not much progress we decided to stop counseling. We have a decent enough living arrangement so the household still functions as a family (family dinners, chores, family functions, school visits and parenting) we just do not function as a couple.

If we move forward with a separation, we do not know what to do about the living arrangement.
Unfortunately at this moment our living expenses and other financial obligations are so high that we live on a extremely tight budget. We had two major, unexpected expenses to hit us last year on top of a extremely tight budget.

Either one of us make enough to continue to contribute to the mortgage and all the other financial responsibilities and at the same time pay for a separate dwelling. We both work full time and both contribute to the bills. I do make more and she has cut back some her hours at work so she can take a class at Wake Tech and I feel stuck. I do not believe we can continue too much longer in our present living arrangement.

What are some options?
Is there a negative backlash or diminished rights to our home and other rights if I leave.
What do we do?


#2

You are free to leave the home, but if at all possible I would advise that you negotiate and execute a separation agreement and property settlement that deals with all property, support, and custody issues before you leave.