She won't leave, can I...?


Dear openears:

Greetings. Yes, you can leave and turn off the utilities in your name, but you will be abandoning the residence and you may be responsible for alimony. If you are responsible for alimony, and you shut off the utilities to “starve your wife out” then, you may end up paying even more alimony then you would normally. So, talk to an attorney before you take any action. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
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


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 wife and I are separating, but she won’t leave the house and uses that as leverage to get more out of me. The house is my pre-marital property. All of the utilities have been in my name long before we were married. Can i leave the house and have all the utilities turned off until she leaves? I hate that I have to do this, but she is making my life hell.