Separation process

Dear itzover:

Greetings. Since your post is so long, the answers will be brief and succint (shorter posts get longer answers):

  1. Yes, she can prevent your return if you move out.

  2. No, you do not forfeit all rights to property held within the house upon leaving.

  3. You should not have this relationship until you have a signed separation agreement. Stop the relationship until all issues are settled. You are an adult and can do this. Adultery is still a crime in NC.

  4. Yes, adultery is an issue if you are the supporting spouse and she is expecting to receive alimony from you (or if you are the dependent spouse).

  5. I don’t konw about your alimony liability, as determining a number would take a one on one consultation.

  6. What is you do decide to relocate and live outside of NC with another woman during your separation? What is the question.

  7. People get over anger by looking at the financial situation they are in and making decisions in their best interests.

  8. Your course of action is to retain an attorney and start negotiating now, before you make a large mistake that cannot be fixed with negotiating.

Hope that helps.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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.

I have been a supportive husband to my wife for over eight years of marriage to date. I found employment and relocated with her to NC so that she could attend graduate school. We have had a largely sexless marriage from day one, and went through counseling, twice. Our intimacy never improved. She nearly left me three years ago, but I agreed to attend counseling (the second time) with her. Basically, our marriage is a fragile friendship without intimacy. We bought a house together two years ago and I have been renovating it while she is in grad school. I’ve finally decided that we’re postponing inevitable divorce, and I want to separate now. Here are the details:

-We own both of our cars (no liens)
-The mortgage is in both our names
-We have no children
-She receives a monthly trust disbursement (we pay the taxes jointly)
-She is a full-time student
-I work full-time
-I have started a romantic long-distance relationship with someone

She has been away on an internship out-of-state for several weeks. I am planning on separating from her as soon as she returns.

Here are my questions:
-If I move out of the house, can she prevent my return?
-Do I forfeit all rights to property held within the house upon leaving?
-My external relationship has not been sexual, but it surely will be within the span of my forthcoming separation. What are the legal implications of this? If she elects not to hire a PI, will this likely not be an issue for me?
-If our divorce never goes to court (i.e., we negotiate a separation agreement) is adultery not an issue?
-What alimony liability can I expect given a post-separation adulterous relationship?
-What if I decide to relocate and live outside of NC with another woman during my separation?
-How do people sign separation agreements while still living together and extremely angry with one another? That doesn’t seem practical.

Lastly, what course of action should I take given my circumstances?

Thanks in advance for your help.