Who has to leave?

No. She can not be made to leave unless you file Divorce from Bed & Board.

Then how can you separate if neither party is willing to leave the house?

Somebody has to leave.

I know the feeling. I stayed for 4 months in horrible circumstances because my STBX would not sign a separation agreement. I finally just left-though I kept up payments for the house only. BUT I turned off all unnecessary utilities (phone, cable) and told her that she would have to put other utilities in her name also or they would be turned off in one month’s time (this was hard because my kids were still there—but they knew about it and actually supported me). I also closed all credit card accounts that she had access to (they were in my name, but she had a card too). I didn’t put any money in our joint account. I continued to provide support for the kids (bought them groceries, clothes and whatnot). When the money was cut off, she woke up and signed the VERY fair agreement I had drawn up.

She thought she had me in a vise by refusing to sign, but she didn’t. It was a control issue with her, as it is many times in this situation. She couldn’t just face the fact that we had a crappy and very unhealthy marriage.

I am much happier and healthier now–though struggling now financially. To me it is worth it.

Don’t do what most men do just to get away from the situation"Don’t You Leave that House". Trust me if you leave and leave the children then she will say you abandoned her and the kids and you cannot take the kids from her unless she is a threat to them. Stay and eventually she will leave and if she does don’t let her take the kids. As sad as it is your kids will play a vital part in all this financially. Rmemeber this no matter what happens you continue being a father don’t be negative around the kids about their mom, stay positive and loving with your kids. If you can remain cool an calm you will seee that you ex will be the opposite and evrybody dealing with her will see she has issues. Don’t be the predictable man and loose everything.

“What fault grounds can be used to file for divorce from bed and board?
The complainant seeking a divorce from bed and board must establish at least one of the six fault grounds enumerated in the statute: abandonment, malicious turning out of doors, cruel or barbarous treatment, indignities, excessive use of alcohol or drugs rendering the condition of the other spouse intolerable, or adultery. Further, the complainant must allege that he or she did not provoke the other spouse’s misconduct. The right to jury trial in an action for divorce from bed and board is governed by the statutory provision permitting a jury to make the factual findings on issues of fault.”

I would think that theft (and arrest?) constitutes “indignities”.
This would give you a way to force her out and begin your separation. Sometimes there is no option except to leave but I believe in your specific case, you would not want to leave , rather than to stay in an unhealthy and sometimes dangerous situation. You would not want to leave her with primary custody of the children or responsible for the home since it’s not certain what the shoplifting charges may bring.

Are you certain that this is what you want to do? To end your marriage, providing that there are no other issues…?
If this is the only real issue, I can understand there is concern, but your wife can be treated through counseling and it may not have to be an end…

In order to tell you if she can be legally forced to leave the home I would need to meet with you and review the specific facts of your case. In the meantime, you should review the information on our website about a divorce from bed and board.

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
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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My question is who has to leave the house? We have 3 kids and my wife does not pay the house payment. She has been caught shoplifting and I hope to be able to get custody of the children. Can she be legally made to leave so that we can separate??