Rights to stay in home?

I want to add, divorce from bed and board would not apply here, none of the 6 requirements apply. I do not want the marriage over and feel she is being unreasonable. This is about protecting my assets.

I am sorry that you are being forced into a separation that you do not want. I’ve read on these forums frequently of spouses who do not want to separate but it is not always your choice. You can not force your spouse to stay in a marrige. If your spouse is determined to separate, then it’s probably better that she leave the home and see if that is what she really wants.

She can not force you out without filing for divorce from Bed & Board and that is normally only a technicality. Normally, that is filed after the separation has already begun so that the party that left knows they no longer have rights to live in the marital home.
Personally, I believe that the person who wants the separation should be the one to leave the home. It will not affect her rights to 1/2 the marital assets if she leaves, unless she signs an agreement to that fact. Do not leave the home if you are not comfortable with that. It sounds as though, the “friend” that she was planning to stay with either changed their mind or told her that she would loose everything. Please consult an attorney and get a separation agreement written up.
As a side note, since you are married and the home has been in both names, legally your name must still be included on the deed. You should have the place that refinanced explain why your name is not on the deed…maybe she’s only telling you this.

Depending on your current finacial situation you could offer to help her move and get a place but that you are not leaving the home. You could offer, in the agreement, to pay her a monthly amount “post separation support” for a specified amount of time if she will not request alimony. Alimony can be requested by either spouse if the other spouse makes more…this will help her get on her own feet after she moves out. Legally, you are both entitled to 1/2 the marital assets and debts. If the home was purchased prior to your marriage, then you may still have an interest in it due to paying down on the mortgage amount while married. Even if you do move, she would have to give you the money for your half of the equity.
Since your spouse is the one who wants the separation, you have some leverage.

Stepmother is right. Unless you SIGNED the deed over to your wife, you should still be on it. It sounds like she’s telling you a fib, just like telling you she can have you kicked out of the house.

In my opinion, I would stay in the house. If she wants out badly enough, she should leave.

Consult an attorney. Educate yourself and know your rights (this site is an excellent source). Don’t sign anything without an attorney.

Stepmon and CC2, Thank you for your response. I am more than willing to at least try and work this out. I realize why she feels the way she does. I have done nothing but examine and analyze why. I have always had problems prioritizing work before us. Now she feels like I don’t love, respect, or appreciate her. I have acknowledged this and feel terrible about how I have made her feel. I know there are more better components to our marriage than bad, but she is not seeing it that way. She even refused to try counselling.

I did offer to take on more of the marital debt and take care of the house but she is more determined to stay here. She does work but I earn much more. I offered to help her get relocated, and re-establish but that’s not working either. I have been on a business trip for a week and just got back so I have not been able to talk to an attorney. She left the house the day she told me. I left on business the next day and she came back to the house after I left but she hasn’t been here since I returned 3 days ago. Bottom line, I truly believe we could work this out.

As far as her friend where she is staying. Her friend just recieved her final divorce 3 weeks ago. They are still fighting over property. Definately an influence.

I STILL think you should not leave the house. I would PLEAD with her to try counseling and try to work things out. Do you have kids??

From what you write, it seems you’re trying to help her out re-establishing her in a new location. If she is bound and determined to keep the house, then eventually, she is going to have to buy you out and refinance into her name. If she makes less than you, then you’ll probably owe alimony. Will that be enough for her to buy you out or even maintain the house? I don’t know.

I’m sure she is getting an earful from her friend. That’s to be expected. Each situation is different though.

Don’t do anything rash and please get some legal counsel.

If she told you of her intent to separate, left the marital home, and is staying somewhere else then she has effectively begun the separation. Changing her mind and insisting that you leave after the separation has begun should not be an option. She was not forced to leave and without cause to file divorce from Bed & Board the courts will not force you to leave. The sherriff will not get involved because there is no court order or abuse. You can not be forced to leave just because she wants you to.

I know that since you want to work things out what I’m going to say is going to sound harsh, but keep in mind that I have seen this situation before, as have some of the others. As I said, in my own opinion, the person that wants out of the marriage should be the one to leave the home, if at all possible. You have offered to make that easy for her, and to provide support. You have offered counseling and given her a chance to reconcile. Since she has refused this, now the decision is on you. Do YOU want to continue to pursue the marriage?

You have two options here but you need to consult with an attorney.

The first option is to give her whatever she wants because you are the reason that she wants out of the marriage. It’s your fault. You did not do enough to make the marriage work. You should feel guilty and leave the home but continue to pay for the mortgage. You should pay her alimony and let her keep all the marital assets. Since this is all your fault, you should be the one to start over with nothing and pay her an amount every month until she gets remarried and moves her new husband into your home.
The second option you have is to consult an attorney. Realize that it takes two people to make a marriage work. You have neglected your marriage, acknowledged that fact and attempted to make it right. It’s never too late to try to do the right thing but, there’s not a lot you can do if your spouse is not willing to continue working on the marriage. Maybe she feels that it’s “too little, too late”. Maybe the friend’s separation and divorce is a big influence.(That happens often)Maybe she’s already met someone who pays attention to her the way she feels you should and is ready to replace you…whatever the case, you do not have to make the separation easy. IMHO, it should not be an easy thing to end a relationship or marriage.

You should protect yourself by telling her that since she left the marital home, she initiated the separation. Keep records of everything. Every transaction, every conversation, everything.
Pay her an amount every week by check, whatever you think is fair and what you can live with. This will set a precedent for what you may be asked to pay. Unless there is an extramarital affair on her part, she may be allowed alimony. I do not know how alimony is figured. Do not move out unless you want to.
You need to consult an attorney as soon as you can. Get a separation agreement drawn up and let her make adjustments. This can sometimes make the separation more real and give the spouse second thoughts. If you have made your decision about whether or not you are willing to pursue the marriage then you can decide which option you should take.

Thanks again…I have an appointment Friday. It appears that some of the emotion on her part is lessening and she may be looking at this different, but that’s only from e-mails I’ve received.

In the meantime I am working on things, already saw a counselor, and do a LOT of thinking. Thinking is what I do most, so I thought I’d share this…

I wish I could talk to my best fiend. There are so many things I want help with and need to talk about. My best friend was always there to help me when things went wrong, I needed advice or just to listen to me about my job, my life or anything else I wanted to voice out loud. I wish I could talk to my best friend.

My friend always steered me in the right direction, Listened to my complaints, gripes and successes. That friend was a comfort and a needed connection in my life.

Now that I am going through the biggest challenges and conflict in my life, I know how much that friend has stood by me, helped me, guided me and comforted me when things went awry, and on the other hand how much happiness was shared and shown when things were good. I wish I could talk to my best friend.


This was very touching. You truly have a heart of gold. Try your hardest to make things work. let her read what you just wrote. If you can touch me my heart by what you wrote then maybe you can touch hers. Thinking of best wishes to you.

Sometimes it takes losing something to truly understand what we had to start with. I’ve learned that things have a way of working out the way they are supposed to regardless of how much we try to influence them. If fact, at times, the best thing to do is to quit trying to be in control and let it all go. Realize that things are not under your control any longer and leave it up to a greater power to fix what is wrong.
I spent 11 years in an emotionally abusive relationship. At the time I could not see anything other than that person ever being in my life. I did not believe that I would be able to live without him. It physically hurt when we split up. I felt like I couldn’t breathe because I was so hurt and humiliated and I wondered what I ever did to deserve this pain. When my ex asked what he could do make things right with me, I told him that he could become a better person for the next woman in his life.
Over time I have come to realize that I was preparing myself for the relationship I have now, with my husband. I had to go through what I did to be the person I am now. It could not have been any other way. Things worked out the way they were supposed to. Not the way I would have ever thought they would and certainly not the way I ever thought I wanted them to.

Work on becoming this better person that you seem to want to be. Learn from these mistakes and change your priorities, if necessary. Take this time, not to try to convince your wife that you are changed, but to actually change. In doing this, you may find things begin to work themselves out. I will keep you in my thoughts and please keep us posted.

She cannot have you kicked out of the house unless there is an order from the court that permits her to do so. Your first step should be meeting with a lawyer so you can find out what your rights are.

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 radio.rosen.com 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
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Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
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My wife surprised me by asking for a separation. She initially said it was up to me if I left or stayed. If I stayed she would move in with a friend. Now she has changed her mind and is insisting that I move out or she will have the court or sheriff forcefully move me out. There is no abuse or anything I know of that would predicate this. The house is home loan.mortgage is in both names but I just found that after we refinanced last year the deed was only put in her name. Before that both names were on the deed. I feel that I need to protect my interests here because she has stated and probably will have problems making the payments. What can I do?