Why file if it seems I can't afford to divorce?

Using the calculator on your page, it appears that I can’t afford to divorce. I worry for my kids growing up and watching their parents disagree, argue, and not get along. We can’t go more than a few days without arguing. We both yell and get angry and are rude. I have come to avoid ever saying anything to him in front of kids because he’s a loose cannon regardless of whether they’re around or not - he can’t stop himself from escalating little things into loud arguments, even with little ones around. In any case, I want a divorce, but based on my calculations I cannot afford our home (buying out his half of the equity nor making the full mortgage/tax/insurance payments on my own). I work only part time. If I worked full time, I’d need to engage daycare, so I’d be no better off in terms of being able to afford things. If I moved out, I couldn’t afford the rent on a place with 3 bedrooms (we have 2 kids) any more than our mortgage (which is actually in line with rent). We have little cash asset, so I can’t even really consider working on selling our home, taking the half of the equity I’d be entitled to (very little, really) and any cash as a down payment - it doesn’t put in me in a position to purchase anything really. Further, health insurance, which is now covered through his work, is also an issue - I am self-employed - so it is just another thing added on that I can’t afford on my own. By the calculation I see, I am in the hole by a large sum each month and my husband will be able to rent a house, pay support, and still have leftover money from his income to live how he pleases. I feel trapped and don’t want to file and make things even worse between us and for the kids to hear the arguing if in the end I can’t afford to leave.

I guess it boils down to this: is asset distribution strictly 50/50 without exception and child support (and any possibility of alimony) based on what the calculator on this site seems to do (which is, I believe, # of days visitation and % distribution of income) or is there somewhere in all this money/financial side that considers the ability to actually afford the reality of the situation, including my health insurance payments, not just the kids’, the mortgage, waiving the equity buy-out or whatever is needed, and so on. (I haven’t even including things like dance lessons my daughter is used to taking that would have to be given up because I can’t pay for it, even with what the calculator says he’ll contribute.)

The only other option I have is to go live with or near my parents (my father is unemployed and therefore could help with childcare) in PA. I don’t want to wrench my kids away from their dad, but that is the only way I can figure to afford divorce. But can I even do that - leave and go to another state? Or is that only if my husband ‘allows’ it?

Thank you for your help.

There are many factors that can be taken into consideration for why a judge would order a different division than 50/50 in equitable distribution. You should refer to the statute NCGS 50-20. Child support is usually calcuated using the guidelines, and it would take child care into consideration. The child support calculation doesn’t usually include medical expenses and extracurricular activities, and you could ask that those expenses be paid evenly by the parties (or based on income). There is no calculator for alimony, but judges take a lot of things into consideration like your need versus his ability to pay, and the standard of living during the marriage.