My wife and I have been having marital problems for many, many years. We have been seeing marriage counselors for at least two years with no improvement. In my mind, the only solution is to proceed with divorce. She refuses to leave the marital home to begin our one year separation because she says she still wants to work on the marriage. I feel there is no longer hope in fixing the problems we have.
We have two daughters (7 & 11). I have been told that if I leave the marital home, it will be considered abandonment of the family and I risk losing custody of my girls. My wife is not well and I don’t think she can manage the girls on her own. She has been a “stay-at-home mom” since the girls were born but she doesn’t really look after the girls or the house - she is too sick to do this without extensive help from me, supportive neighbors, friends and support workers.
I don’t want to lose custody of my girls, in fact. How can I separate from my wife and ensure that I don’t lose custody of my girls?