What are a spouse’s rights regarding real property if the other spouse wants to move out?

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What are a spouse’s rights regarding real property if the other spouse wants to move out?

Approximately 2 months ago my wife came home and said that she wanted to separate and get a divorce. At that time we agreed that we would stay in the house for 6 months so the market would be better. Since then she has changed her mind and now wants to move out sooner because I have women flirting me with me and calling me and she doesn’t like it. The power is in her name and she is threatening to turn it off because she wants to move now instead. Is she legally allowed to do this? Secondly, is there any way that I can get her to agree to make payments on the mortgage until the house sells? Can I force her to sign document stating she must continue to pay

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Family Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is time that the two of you met with divorce attorneys to establish your rights and obligations ON PAPER with each other so that you both have recourse should the other default.  Yes, she can agree - or a judge can order her - to continue to pay her portion of the mortgage if she leaves.  But there will have to be give and take on the situation between you.  She will always e liable for the payments under your mortgage agreement with the lender.  But who really wants to deal with defaulting and foreclosure should you not have enough to pay the mortgage monthly.  As for turning off the electric, if it is in her name then she could I assume close the account.  Have her add you to the account before she goes to make sure that she does not have that hold over you.  That goes for all the utilities in the house.  Do not have her taken off.  Just you added on.  Maybe you should ask the ladies to stop calling for a bit to establish some calm during the time that the negotiations are underway. Good luck.


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