Separated without income

What is supposed to happen in a separation when the spouse who leaves the house doesn’t have an income? Would the other spouse be responsible for legal costs to ensure a fair trial?

If the dependent spouse is the one that moves out of the marital residence, then the supporting spouse will likely have an obligation to financially help the dependent spouse with their reasonable living expenses. This would be postseparation support.

The supporting spouse is not responsible for the legal costs of the dependent spouse. However, a judge could order that the supporting spouse pay the attorney’s fees of the dependent spouse, particularly if the supporting spouse has provided no maintenance and support to the dependent spouse which caused the dependent spouse to file a claim for postseparation support and alimony in order to have any income or funds at all.

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.