Leaving the family home


#1

My spouse is out of town. I want to leave our family home and file for divorce. Should I leave now and tell him on the phone that I have moved out or stay in the house and wait till he returns? I am a dependent spouse. What are the ramifications to me getting alimony, if I leave now?


#2

Unless you cannot continue the marital relationship with safety, health and self-respect, then it is generally best not to leave unannounced. A form of marital misconduct is abandonment. Abandonment occurs when one spouse brings the cohabitation to an end without (1) justification, (2) consent of the other spouse, and (3) the intent of renewing the cohabitation. Normally a spouse is not justified in leaving the other spouse unless the leaving spouse cannot continue the marital relationship with safety, health and self-respect.

In order to receive alimony, the Court must consider you a dependent spouse and your spouse a supporting spouse. If your spouse could prove that you abandoned the marriage, then any alimony award to you could be negatively impacted, even as a dependent spouse.