Will leaving jeopardize future rights to property?

If I remember correctly, if you leave the household, you are not “giving up your rights to the house” but it will be more difficult get a fair share, since you are “abandoning” the said property. Now if the house is “technically” his, you may not have a right to it at all. Was this something he had before you two were married? Was it left to him in a will? Is your name on the deed and/or mortgage? All these are factors in wheteher or not you have a claim on the property. With that all being said, this would be worst case senario, if the two of you can come to an agreement within yourselves about who gets what, it becomes a moot point. Warning though, get all agreements in writing. If you’ve read some of these posts, you’ll see that when emotions become involved, agreements have a way of being forgotten, misunderstood, or denied outright.

What do you mean when you say the house is technically his? If you mean his name is the only one on the deed, but you purchased it while you were married, the the house belongs to both of you, regardless of the name on the Deed.

I always recommend that you at least have a consultation with an attorney before deciding to move out of your residence. You are not waiving your rights to property by leaving, however you could jeopardize your right to alimony if you are a dependent spouse, or increase the amount of alimony you would be required to pay if you are a supporting spouse. There are a number of legal issues you could face and they are too detailed and fact specific to go into on this message 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

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 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 husband and I are trying to figure out whether we can save our marriage. He’d prefer to do so from separate households, although I’d rather live at home and work through our issues together. Nevertheless, he is unwilling to consider living somewhere else (and the house is technically his), so that means I need to move to an apartment.

Does signing a lease indicate that I “left” the relationship, thus jeopardizing my future rights to property/compensation in the event of divorce? I don’t want a divorce, nor do I want to leave our home, but in the event of irreconcilable differences, I want to be sure I’m protected and am not unwittingly giving up access to what’s (potentially) a share in our combined assets.

Thanks for your feedback and any additional recommended resources.