Wife moved out, now wants back in

No you do not have to let her back into the home. If she left with the intention of moving out and separating, then you are within your rights legally to change the locks and request that she not come to the home without your permission or request. Let her know that when she left on Friday you presumed that was to begin separation and that her coming back to the home is not an option at this point. I suggest that you set up a time and date for her to come get some stuff since she didn’t pack much and send it in writing. Let her know that you have contacted an attorney and will be getting a separation agreement drawn up but that until that time, the intended separation has already begun. You should also set up a visitation schedule for her to see the child one night a week until 8pm and every other weekend. Set up a pattern of you having primary physical custody. The schedule that you have in place during separation often sets the “tone” for custody after the separation is over. You do not want to keep the child from her but you want to make things as easy for the child as possible. Keeping the child in the marital home is less adjustment.

She can not stay in the marital home and pay you rent to be considered separated, you must reside at different addresses for one year.

I echo everything stepmother says. Get a separation agreement and make sure it protects everything you want to protect. House, 401K. You must suppress your emotions at this time. Strive for a clarity of thought. You will hear things and see things that don’t make sense. Use your spouse’s “foggy” thinking against her. Be strong, be tough. This is the path she choose not you. See an attorney asap. Don’t sign anything or agree to anything without thinking about it and consulting an attorney. When dealing with her be pleasant, but non committal. Do not telegraph your intentions. I am sorry you are going through this.


Nope, change the locks. Tell her not to come back. I was in exactly your position 15 months ago. Play hard ball.

A word of caution… Playing hard ball can cause people to wake up and smell the coffee so to speak. To them, (infidels) this is all sorta of a game. Some times this is the case. When they do wake up they tend to go get an attorney. Things can go down hill quickly. Get a separation agreement asap. Get her to sign it (notarized). Get control of your bank accounts. Get control of the house. Get primary custody of the kids.

Sometimes, infidels are in the state of mind that they are just going to go away and start a new life. Use this time wisely.

My suspicion is that she is still having an affair. By in large when one spouse moves out it is to continue the affair out of sight of the other spouse. Sorry, just too many books say this. That was my experience.


Abandonment is kinda nebulous term. Even if proved it won

I agree on all this. Your wife told you she was leaving, and left the marital home. That is the separation date and unless you intend to reconcile, tell her that she is not allowed back in the home. Change the locks. She may not sign a lease if she is staying with a friend. If you know without a doubt that she is continuing the affair, find proof if you can. This is one of the reasons that Divorce from Bed & Board are filed. She left the marital home after telling you of her intentions to separate due to this affair. If you let her come back to the marital home, you are condoning the affair.

Contact her in writing and tell her that she is not allowed back at the home without your permission. E-mail or write a letter. If you call, make sure to record the conversation. Tell her that you are changing the locks. Tell her that she can come to the home X date & time and pick up her clothing and other belongings. She can at that time take whatever furniture you decide to let her have. If she has no way to retrieve anything but the clothing and belongings then the rest can be put into the separation agreement that you are having drawn up. Let her know that as soon as she is settled at a permanent address, that she provides to you, she can keep your daughter overnight, but until that time she will need to return her at Xpm during the week.
I would definitely make sure that the “No overnights of the opposite sex while the child is in the home” thing be put into the agreement.
As far as the abandonment thing goes, don5327 is correct. It will help with the fact that you currently have primary custody and that she has made no motions to change that situation.
It’s my belief that if she left you to continue the affair, the child and where she stands finacially in regards to the marital debt and assets are the last thing on her mind. This is a plus for you in that you can mention to her that the agreement needs to be signed before she should go public with her boyfriend.

Document, document, document. Everything that is said, all amounts spent on the child, or payments made on credit debt or vehicles…insurance anything that you are doing right now, keep records of it.
Your most important concern right now is your daughter. Your wife has left you in the best position to be one of the few fathers that get primary custody. Please take care of yourself during this. Eat, whether you feel like it or not. Get enough sleep, even if you need to get medication for it. Talk to someone if you can. A doctor, a counselor, a pastor, a friend or family member. Find someone on your side that you can run things by whether it’s about raising your daughter or something in the agreement. Do not go to her family or friends. Keep in mind that while the attorney can advise you legally about where you stand, he will not have to live with the outcome of this. No one else can tell you what to do in every situation. Your child is going to be in the middle of a divorce. She is not going to understand why her mother is not around. Do some “extra” things with her so that you and she can bond. This is when she will need you the most. Hang in there. It does get easier…

I would also add that if she decides to come get clothes, furniture and such, it would be best to have your daughter at a sitters. She should not be there–even at her young age. If you want to schedule a meeting at McDonalds so she can see her then that would be better than to have her see her mom moving things out. I remember my Dad moving out and it still is a lasting memory that I hate. My mom was crying, he was crying, we were all crying. I still remember where I was standing, what dress I was wearing and the look on my parents faces.


I know you will protect your daughter. I have read so many posts where the children are made a part of their parents split. The parent’s anger and hurt at their spouse is used through their children so to speak. Then the children are left thinking horrible thoughts about the parent that left or they think it was something they did to cause the break.

Unfortunately, marriages break up. For whatever reason, it hurts nonetheless, whether or not a 3rd person is involved. When my ex left me long ago, I don’t believe another person was involved, but I was devestated…eventhough I prepared myself for the break. I was mad, hurt and I wanted him to ‘pay’ emotionally and financially. I didn’t sign up to be a single parent to 2 small children and I was pissed that he put himself before his family. But in retrospect, I saw that the marriage was a failure. It very well could have been ME that suggested a break had more time had passed. Our attempt at counseling was a joke. He had made up his mind–period.

It was very hard not to badmouth in front of the kids, but I knew it wasn’t right OR their concern. Some parents dont feel the same. They want the kids to hate them as much as they do.

But time does heal wounds, you survive and you move on. Kids bounce back too with good communication and involvement from both parents.

I wish you the best of luck. [:)]

It may also be a good idea to have a friend, preferrably a mutual friend or neighbor, that could witness what was taken, what was said or done and to make sure that nothing can come back on you later. If you want to allow her to take a TV or a piece of furniture, but she has no means to remove those things at this time, you can schedule another date. Let her know that the 3rd person is there to protect you both from future accusations. You could say that she told you to keep everything that she didn’t take and she could say that you told her she could have it all…it all comes down to what is put into the agreement and signed. Start a list now…
Ask yourself these questions: Can I replace this easily enough? Can I live without this if I can’t replace it? and Is this worth going to court over?
If she wants the bedroom set, think of it this way; you will have a new bedroom set that she has not slept in, did not have any influence over the purchase of. My husband did this and we found that though his ex took everything from the home, it was actually better because she does not have ties to anything that we own.

If she has actually taken up a new residence you can change the locks and exclude her from the residence, however, if she was only gone for a weekend and took very few items with her, you may have a hard time proving this.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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