What does seperated and APART for 1 year mean?

My husband and I have been married 4 years and on Sept 5, 2010 he left me for the second time to live apart due to his mental illness disability which causes him to get angry and have dilussions. We were not able to have a sexual relationship after 1 year of marriage due to his sickness and side effects of his medication. Our relationship has therefore been comprised of touching, kissing and hugging for the last 3 years or so. He did however commit adultry 1 year into our marriage with a homosexual affair. He stated it was due to his illness and asked forgiveness. We have only had sex 2 times since this happened because he claims he feels like bugs are crawling on him when he holds me too long due to his illness. Up until June 10, 2011this year, (due to a disagreement over his homosexual friendships), we have talked on the phone regularly and been dating almost weekly, and he had expressed May 20, 2011 wanting to work on our marriage and arrange overnight visits. We did sleep next to each other in May 2011. It was only 4 months ago that he held me, (him being unclothed) and he kissed me. I don’t consider this being APART. Last night he texted me to say his attorney mailed me divorce papers and to sign them. He is saying because we haven’t lived in the same home together 1 year he can now ask for an uncontested divorce and it doesn’t matter that we have recently tried to work on our marriage and dated. With all the intimate contact we have had up to June 10, 2011, remembering that his illness keeps us from sexual intimacy, is this legal for him to file divorce on grounds of a year seperation and being APART? I realize he is very mentally ill and I don’t want to be divorced.

not an attorney…

why would you want to prolong a marriage to someone who is clearly gay? What would be the point in taking any longer? If you both say you’ve been seperate and apart for a year, you can get a divorce. What difference do the details of when he last touched you make? He’s gay. It’s over. Move on.

I would like an attorney to respond please. My husband became a Christian and was no longer practicing the gay lifestyle when we met and married. He is very confused and mentally ill and I truely believe this time of having gay friendships is short lived and he will return to his faith and the man I married who was straight. I have taken many classes on living with a spouse with mental illness and they are unstable and change their behaviors constantly. I have loved my husband through phychotic episodes after phychotic episode and I still love him now in his confusion. I married til death due us part and I won’t abandon him now at hjis sickest point. That’s why I want to prolong the divorce…just 2 weeks ago he told me he does and always will love me…


you need help. Just because a man says he loves you, doesn’t mean it’s true. If he’s sleeping with men and involved in gay relationships, your relationship is over. Christianity, counseling, etc. – these things are not going to make him straight.

Please wake up and stop wasting time on a relationship that will never be healthy.


Separate and apart for one year means that you maintain separate residences with at least one person intending for the separation to be permanent. Isolated instances of sexual contact and/or overnight sleepovers do not count against the clock.

I understand your reluctance to leave your husband while he is ill, and your feelings as a Christian. However, speaking as someone who has had several family members with severe mental illness, you can’t fix him…and with the severity and psychotic features of his illness, it probably isn’t fixable…just somewhat manageable with the right medications and constant doctor care. He’s not going to be able to permanently give up his behaviour. The same behaviour will occur off and on over the years as his body becomes adjusted to the medications and they are either increased or changed. Is this what you want for your life? Quite frankly, he’s being merciful by asking for the divorce.

The date of separation is the date that you began living separate and apart with at least one of you having the intention to remain apart. Isolated acts of sexual intercourse (and your situation does not include intercourse) do not destroy the separation period, if at least one of you did not intend to resume the martial relationship. Unless you reconciled and resumed living together as husband and wife, you are still separated. If the two of you have been living separate and apart for a year with at least one of you not having the intention of resuming the martial relationship, and you have not “held out to the public” that you continue to live as husband and wife, you meet the criteria to file for divorce. From the facts you list, you have been separated since Sept. 5, 2010. He is able to file for divorce now, and he will not need your consent to obtain one. Good luck to you.