Stuck in limbo... held hostage


Hi there,
After years of emotional abuse I have decided to divorce. The problem is that my wife is basically holding me hostage from proceeding. Quick background, married 17 years, no kids. Decent assets, house, 401K, stock options etc. We both work and have decent jobs with about a difference of 60K in salary.

The problem I am having is that my wife will not agree to move forward in any shape or form. She has told me that she wants attorneys involved even though I have stated that half of everything is fine with me. She won’t even look at mediation or anything. I am currently staying at a friends house. We have a joint bank account, joint credit card, mortgage and one car payment. She’s telling me I can’t get an apartment even though we can easily afford it. She is having realtors come to the house to get a market value but wants to spend money on painting and other things even though I have offered to buy her out of the house and sell it that way.

Basically I am stuck in absolute limbo with no hope of moving forward. She just told me tonight that she won’t even look at anything I sent her (mediation etc) until at least the end of next week. I have zero intention of not paying the bills or anything like that. I just want to start moving forward and don’t know what to do. She has told me that I should just live in the house while it is up for sale as it’s big and we both can be there. Problem with that is every time I turn around she wants to tell me how I didn’t try and I am ruining everything etc etc. I am doing my best to keep it together but I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to cause me legal problems by moving out or have her become vindictive and put the screws to me. I am willing to be more that fair but it won’t even be discussed. Help please, what can I do to safely (I don’t mean physically) move out and is there anything at all that can force her to mediation or anything? Any advice would be greatly greatly appreciated!!


It sounds like you need to have a consultation to discuss your case and all your options to move forward. It is ideal to have an agreement in place prior to actual separation so that each party’s duties and obligations are clear, but in some cases that is not possible. If you are unable to get her to agree to mediate and attempt to reach a resolution before separation, you should discuss how to protect your interests if you choose to move out of the marital residence.