Want to leave but worried about abandonment consequences


I posted on the atty section and was told that as long as you don’t leave the spouse high & dry financially, that you’re okay to leave.

However, I’m wondering based on your personal experiences if there are more graceful ways to leave instead of just packing up and leaving. It has been communicated at least 5 times that the marriage is done, and that a separation is imminent. The spouse refuses to believe that it is over and insists that things can be fixed. What do you do in this situation? The fear is the social and parenting repercussions this might have, since there are children involved. If the spouse is not supportive of this plan, they could paint a pretty bad picture to kids, family, neighbors, friends, etc ("everything was fine and all of a sudden they packed and left). The main thing is to make sure the kids do not feel abandoned in anyway, despite what the remaining custodial parent may feel or say.

How have you navigated around these fears in your own situations? What are your lessons learned?


My ex spouse left me high and dry financially. However, I still got him out on fault. I had nothing.

My advice. Try to negotiate this divorce yourself. You need to agree to separate. One of you has to get out and that is just a fact. Otherwise, you cannot get a divorce since you must separate for a year and a day in NC for a divorce to occur. Somebody has to leave. Unfortunately, if one wants a divorce and the other doesn’t, it’s pretty much up to the one who wants it to get out and deal with the consequences. I wish I had a better answer. It’s best if the parties agree and agree to everything. Otherwise, the divorce whores (lawyers) swoop in and then everybody loses except the legal eagles. I am so sorry. Good luck.


As far as the kids are concerned, the best thing is to sit them down with you both and explain in an age appropriate manner that mommy and daddy aren’t going to live together anymore, but that you are both their parents, that you aren’t going to leave them, and that you love them more than anything, but you just can’t live together.

After that, make sure that you set up a joint custody situation where the children get equal time with you both. This way, they won’t feel abandonned by either parent. The mom can talk all she wants about being abandonned, but you can prove by your actions that you are not abandonning them.


I agree with Athos that in the joint custody situation. I’ve seen couples who try to wait to put this into affect thinking to give the children adjustment time, but the truth is, the longer you allow a situation to continue the more difficult it is to change. That’s true for more than just the custody. It will take a while once you do leave to figure out boundaries. Your spouse has the right once you leave to change the locks and not allow you access to the home, so take everything you need when you leave and get a separation agreement drawn up for the other stuff.
Children adapt better than you would imagine. My stepsons found it easier to deal when they learned that most of the children they are friends with have a step parent or are in the same situation with their biological parents not being together. If you left today, make sure in writing that your spouse and the children know that you will be getting them on Monday for the week. The point is to know your rights before you leave.
You can’t worry about what the neighbors, friends or family think. Other than the children, you can only worry about yourself. They no longer will be your neighbors. Your friends and your family will know the truth, if not immediately then after a short time. The spouse’s family, will of course be on their side. Don’t expect any less that loyalty from the spouse’s family and friends regardless of what is said. Find one person that you can discuss yourself with, family, friend, or pastor and do not discuss everything with anyone else. That one person should be on your side. You need to be able to go over separation and custody details with that person. This person should be objective enough to have you and the children’s best interest in mind when giving you advice.
Be careful what you say about or to the spouse. My husband told his ex that maybe it was a mistake to begin dating (me) so early after his separation. She took that to mean that he would quit seeing me…as you may note, that did not happen and it did NOT go over well with her.

Remember this; no one else will have to live with this. You and your spouse and your children are the only ones that will truly be dealing with this situation. Not the attorneys, not the judge, not your friends or family (unless your living arrangments include them) or co-workers. In the long run, you and your children are the only ones that you are responsible for just as your spouse is only responsible their self and the children. You do what is right for you and your children, make sure they are taken care of and protected and you’ll see that things will work out how they are supposed to. I will keep you in my thoughts.