Do you have children together?

Both parties are entitled to 1/2 the marital assets and responsible for 1/2 the marital debts. The term abandonment would be if you left and did not make provisions for those debts or assets or if you left no arrangements for care or finacial arrangements for any children. This is why a separation agreement is a good thing to have. You would not forfeit any future settlements because unless you sign away your rights to the marial assets or debts, you are entitled to them.

We have one child at home. I would continue to provide pre/post school care and transportation but do not wish to stay under the same roof as my husband. My feeling is that he is so angry and vindictive now that any equitable seperation agreement would be virtually impossible to hammer out. I think in a month or so, he will be more amenable and reasonable to do the right thing, put our personal dislikes aside, and concentrate on the best for our child. At this point, he is threatening to quit his job, accumulate massive debt and put both of us into bankrupsy, if I leave.

Then I would suggest that you leave before this. If he is found to be eliminating marital assets or increasing marital debts after the date of separation then I believe that he could be ordered to pay you 1/2 the money worth on the assets and that the debt could be considered separate. Protect yourself first though. Cancel any accounts that you can with both your names on them. Take your child with you if possible. Equitable distribution can be decided in court if necessary and does not have to be decided even before absolute divorce. If you feel that you can not stay in the home, make sure to document the assets that you have now, what you take with you from the home and what stays. Get copies of the most recent statements from accounts and keep them.

You will not forfeit any property rights by leaving the marital residence. However, if you leave the residence and leave your child there it could have an impact on custody.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My husband and I are in the process of seperating. The situation is so horrible I just want to walk out the door. Will I forfeit any future settlements by doing so?