Residing in the same house


Hello everyone,

I’ll be as brief as possible but there are quite a few details.
Oct 2008 I became unemployed and just this weekend acquired a new job. ( Thank God ). 2 Months ago my wife came back in town from a business trip and within days told me she was done with the marriage and wanted me to leave the home so she could have her space.
I have decided to not leave the marital home because I have 2 daughters ages 6 & 4 and it has made my spouse rather irritable. I’m wondering what my rights are to stay in the house and things I should and shouldn’t do while in the house to avoid from being ousted.
I’m sure more questions will pop up as this thread continues, thank you for any time you put into responding.


but when my 28 marriage went south last sept. I was told the one that is unhappy in the marriage and insitigated the break-up should leave. I am a dependent spouse with health issues and my husband became verbally abusive in hopes that I would leave. When he confronted me and found out I wasn’t leaving and I hired an attorney he went off the deep end. Our son who is grown made him leave at that point. I hired an attorney who told me NOT leave the house no matter what and how could I since I had no income. My husband finally left and when he did he also closed our joint bank acct. and stopped supporting me and our daughter other than continuing to pay the mortgage but that is just because it’s in his name.

You need the advice of an attorney if you and your wife are still in the same house and share custody of the kids and have any joint assets. Good luck.


It’s been my opinion that the one who desires the separation be the one to leave the marital home, but that is not always the easiest route to take. It often depends on who is more able to move out, who’s going to maintain primary custody of the children, and whether or not the one left in the marital home can take on that financial responsibility.
Look on the home site for the reasons someone could file “Divorce from Bed & Board”. This is the only way that your spouse could force you to leave. Regardless, it will not change your rights to 1/2 the marital assets or responsibility for 1/2 the marital debts. Normally, couples will use the marital home and retirement accounts as negotiating tools for the agreement.

It’s easier on the children to stay in the marital home however if you intend to share custody with equal time, then this is not as big an issue, since they will essentially have two homes…I applaud your efforts to think about how this will affect your children. Though they are young and likely not to remember much about this, they will still be affected…
I suggest that you consult with an attorney prior to moving out so that you can get an agreement started. Do not leave the home until you are ready. I would not leave until you have financial and custody responsibilities agreed on. Once the separation begins things will likely become more difficult to discuss…


Your wife cannot compel you to leave the home unless she has grounds based on martial fault. In order to force you out of the home she would need to file an action which is called a divorce from bed and board and allege that you have committed marital misconduct (abandonment, cruel or barbarous treatment which engagers the life of the other, offers indignities which render the life of the other spouse intolerable, becomes and excessive user of drugs or alcohol, or commits adultery).