Who should move out?


My wife is the steady income earner in the household and I’m the struggling entrepreneur, so she basically owns our house and pays for it, etc. Despite there being no infidelity or abusiveness on my part, she is now seeking a separation and asking that I move out of the house; her intentions being that our two little girls will still live there with her. She is listing the house for sale, so this may not be relevant for long, but I suppose my question is: If I haven’t done anything “wrong” and she’s the one that wants the separation, why am I the one that has to move out? Is it as simple as her being the official owner of the house and evicting me if she wants? And, why should the girls automatically stay with her, with me being the one seeking visitation?


She cannot force you to move out, and you may stay in the home pending a settlement of all issues. Even if her name is the only one on the deed and she pays the mortgage the home is still the martial residence and absent any misconduct you cannot be forced to leave.


And as to our girls? If she’s been the steady breadwinner - I’ve paid for plenty of stuff, but she’s paid more of it by far - but she is the one wanting to leave, shouldn’t she have to move out and leave the girls in the home with me? Why should I have to be the one moving out and seeking visitation? Again, this is a case with no physical/alcohol/drug abuse and no infidelity - on my part, at least - so I’m trying not to make things harder on her and the girls than necessary, if a separation is the only option she’ll consider. But I don’t want to just give in to the idea of me moving out and her staying in the home with the girls when this whole thing is her idea.


You do not have to seek visitation and can seek shared custody or primary custody if you wish.


Given the chain of info above, what I’m really wondering is: why can’t I stay in the house with the girls and ask her to leave? It seems to me that if this were a “traditional” scenario with the husband being the breadwinner and the wife either acting as housewife or working, but with minimal contribution to the household income . . . and in that situation if the husband wanted to separate, then the husband would be the one expected to move out. This is the situation for us . . . she’s been more of the breadwinner, though I’ve certainly made more than just minimal contribution to the household income, and she wants the separation . . . so why shouldn’t SHE be the one to move out? The only difference between our situation and the “traditional” one is that she has tended to be the predominant caregiver for our girls as well, at least until the last 6 months or so. The last 6 months, since she broke the news to me of her feelings, we have been equal caregivers . . . but before that she was the one doing most of it. Does this sound like a situation where I can ask her to move out, since she is the one wanting the separation?


You can.