She left the house - what effect?

You are both responsible for 1/2 the marital debt and entitled to 1/2 the marital assets up to the time/date of separation. Leaving the home has no effect on her rights in this. The only thing that affects alimony is an marital misconduct. If you and she have agreed on custody and child support then there is no issue. If that is still being discussed, then the only thing her leaving would affect is that sometimes the one that retains the children, or stays in the marital home has a better chance at primary custody. These days though, the courts are trying to rule more for joint legal and physical custody with equal time. It’s fair to both parents and best for the children. The child support calculator on the home site will tell you how much either of you would be paying the other given the custody situation, salaries, day care expenses and insurance. Her leaving the home could only effect equitable distribution in that occasionally the assets are divided unevenly due to whom has custody of the children. In other words, the children stay with you in the marital home, then the courts could award a higher percentage of the assets to you.
The best scenario though would be to consult an attorney and come to an agreement between yourselves to stay out of court. It’s less stressful and saves a great deal of emotional trauma on everyone and money.

Her leaving the house may have an impact on impact on her right to alimony. If she has been able to pay her expenses on her for the past year, the court may use that as proof that she is able to meet her own expenses without help from you.

If you have reduced the principal on the mortgage, or made increases to the value of the house in the last year that you have been separated, these increases will be your separate property.

The separation is unlikely to have an affect on other areas.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
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Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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.

This is nothing to do with her leawing the home, but you stated you pay the daycare. Are you also doing the insurance, clothes, food, shelter, etc etc etc? Have you run the child support calculator? You should’t have to support your child solely. Just because you make more money doesn’t negate her portion of responsibility.

My wife moved out of our house late last year w/out first consulting an attorney. Since then, we have shared our son between us 50/50, more or less. Even though I make more money than she does (both of us over 50K), it has now put me in a difficult situation financially because I have been paying the mortgage, utilities, etc. as well as all of the daycare expenses. There is barely enough to pay the bills and hope to have anything left over to put into savings. We are now in the process of trying to get a separation agreement together. The reason that it took so long is that I guess we both thought that in the back of our mind, we’d get back together but our attempts have failed (that’s another story).

What effect may her leaving the house have on her rights to alimony, child support, marital assets and custody?