Separation Expenses


My wife and I have been separated for a little more than a month. Money was tight and we had to move from one rental to another she decided that she did not want to move into the new place with us. I got myself and my 2 sons a new house and she decided to move to her friend’s basement until she could afford a place of her own. First question - Didn’t she abandon the relationship and doesn’t she lose some rights in doing so?

Next question - We had a car that she drove and took with her. Her brother is wealthy and he came to town and got her a new car and used the one we owned together as a trade-in, for which I received nothing. Isn’t that car marital property? it was registered in her name, but we were married 20 years so i have to imagine it is both of our property under the law. Am I entitled to anything there?

Question 3 - Her brother got her a new place and she just moved in. I am still struggling financially but am getting by. How do we pay the expenses associated with the kids? Extra curricular activities, school supplies, etc. I do make sure my kids see her now that she has a place as I want them to have a relationship with their mother as I am a believer in family, no matter what form it may take. Am I responsible for all expenses as they relate to the kids or is it 50/50 since she walked out on us?


Abandonment refers to leaving the marriage without just cause, and only matters in terms of alimony. Read the linked article to learn more about abandonment.

Gifts are marital property if you can prove that the gift was a gift to the marriage, not to just one of the spouses. Of course your wife will argue the gift was a gift just to her, and your argument would be that her brother gifted it to the marriage. Factors that strengthen your argument are that you traded a marital vehicle to purchase it, and if you both equally used the car, if it was considered the family vehicle, etc.

Child support is designed to provide support for the children. To get an idea of what your child support obligation will be, use our child support calculator. Extracurricular activities are not included in the calculation, but typically parents will agree to divide evenly the cost of mutually agreed upon extracurricular activities, or to divide the cost pro-rata based on your respective incomes.