Moving out... what should i do?


#1

I believe my wife has been unfaithful. Although I can forgive her, I can no longer trust her and want to move out. Being at home is too painful to deal with it on a daily basis.
We have 3 children, 2 together and 1 from her previous relationship. I have moved my clothes out of the home and spent over a week at a relative’s home. I’m the “bread-winner” in the home, making roughly twice what my wife makes annually, and have no problem paying the lease for the home where my family currently resides, but wonder if doing so will set the precident during divorce proceedings that will cause me to have to maintain this “standard” of living for my wife (alimony). Also, before finding a place for myself, large enough for the kids to come and stay with me on occassion, I’d like to know how I should go about this. I love my wife and kids tremendously but do not want to make a decision that will come back to haunt me.
During a recent visit to see them, my wife lost control and assaulted me. I called the police and she was arrested (I did not press charges, the officer did)… had I known that she would have been arrested, I never would’ve called. After this occurred, I know it’s best that I move out but want to do so responsibly, while making sure that the family is taken care of.
I JUST NEED SOME RESPONSIBLE ADVICE. HELP?


#2

If you make twice what your wife does, then it is likely that she would qualify as a dependent spouse for the purposes of getting alimony.

However, you can bar her claim for alimony if she committed adultery. If she files for alimony, you will need to bring to court proof of the affair as your defense to a support obligation. You mentioned that she assaulted you as well and the police were involved. Abuse is a factor which is considered in an action for alimony as well. Your wife’s abusive actions, if proven, will be relevant to the alimony claim. Abuse and adultery are forms of marital misconduct which can be relevant in alimony determinations. When the dependant spouse makes a claim for alimony, the allegations of martial misconduct should be included in your Answer as a defense to paying alimony. You would still be liable for child support.

You should meet with an attorney immediately to discuss the specifics of your case. In the meantime, continuing to help provide for your wife and children informally during the separation would be advisable until you can hopefully resolve all matters via a formal agreement.


#3

Ms. Russ, thanks for the quick response and much needed information.

How do I “prove” adultery if she will not admit to it? I basically had to find evidence of improper communication which later led me to find corresponding dates that placed my wife and the same male in the same place (out of town trips). She denied everything until I presented what I found to her and threatened to leave. She admitted to a “form” of infidelity but retracted the story two days later after she saw that even this transgression was too much for me to accept. She claimed that she only told me that to “make me jealous”, hoping it would manipulate me to attend an upcoming event with her. Of course, I don’t buy it. Too many details to list here, but, all in all, the steps she took to cover this up and the lies she had to cover up alone show that there’s more than just a few texts and phone conversations.

Also, my wife can be a “hot head” and this is not the first time that she’s “lost it” when she didn’t get her way. I’ve never called the police or even told anyone until now, and even at this point, it was primarily because I wanted to document the event since we are separating. As stated previously, I did not press charges and will not as this could cause her to lose her job if convicted. I’m torn because I want to help her to avoid any negative ramifications and humiliation that would result from this, but I also understand, based on your response, that this behavior is considered a form of marital misconduct.

Finally, if I sign a lease for an apartment for myself and continue to pay the lease at the home, would this be considered as setting the bar for what I’d be expected to uphold as a standard of living for my wife? The home is over 3,000 square feet and I’d be lowering my standard of living by moving into a much smaller apartment in the meantime.

Sorry for the long email response but, as you can see, I have several questions that need to be answered. I do intend to consult an attorney but don’t want to make a mistake while I attempt to find the proper representation.


#4

To prove adultery you must show that your spouse had the inclination (romantic) interest, and opportunity (staying over night together) to have sex with another person. Adultery is a bar to alimony, so if you are the supporting spouse I would suggest you present all evidence that you have, including your own testimony.

If you can prove to the court’s satisfaction that your wife was committing adultery (or another form of marital misconduct) then you needn’t worry about what standard of living you will have to maintain for her as she is not going to get alimony. On the other hand, if you cannot prove the misconduct then alimony is a possibility for you. A judge would look to what her actual financial needs are and what your needs are. It’s not just her needs that determine how much alimony she would receive. The judge would also look to your ability to pay. You are not expected to impoverish yourself so that she can maintain the 3,000 sq. ft. home. If you cannot afford to pay her enough money to keep that house and maintain a reasonable household of your own, then the house will likely need to be sold.


#5

Thanks again, Ms. Russ. …and might I add, you’re the “bomb”.


#6

Thank you for the kind words! I am glad that I could assist you. Please feel free to post questions in the future if any issues arise.


#7

Do you have to have an independent witness (private investigator) prove romantic inclination and opportunity…Can a GPS monitor I put on the vehicle be used in court and have a friend do some surveilence??