Recently I found out my wife is having an affair. She told me she wants to get a divorce. She plans on marrying the guy. We have two young children together. She also wants me to leave our home. I am wondering why I should leave the home if she’s the one who cheated on me and wants a divorce. I want her to end the affair and try to reconcile the marriage. I am wondering whether I am legally required to leave the home just because she says that’s what she wants. What are my rights?”
Common mistakes made during divorce
Unfortunately, the situation you described is all too common. One spouse decides a marriage is irreconcilable and asks the other spouse to leave. Too often, however, the spouse acquiesces and leaves, even though they were not the one who initiated the divorce.
Now, you asked if you were legally required to leave the marital home just because your wife ask you to. No, you are not. In fact, divorce experts will tell you that leaving the home can be a mistake.
Making good decisions during your divorce
Why is it so common for men to move out of the marital home? Some men feel that it is their obligation to move, even if they are not the one who wants a divorce. In fact, the real-life scenario is one we’ve seen played out in the movies a hundred times. A woman comes in and tells a man she wants a divorce and in his confusion and haze he packs his bag and leaves.
Unfortunately, leaving the marital home, even at the request of your spouse, can later be construed as abandonment. It won’t matter that your spouse asked or even bullied you out of the home.
It can also present a contradictory message to the court. You might argue you are the best dad in the world but what dad would voluntarily pack his bags and agree to limited contact with his children?
Establishing a new status quo for your divorce
Although you will want to discuss your particular case with a divorce attorney, in general, the agreements made by couples during the separation can carry over to the divorce, especially if the court determines that they are working for each party. With this in mind, it’s important not to put yourself in a position of weakness.
What should you do? You want to do everything you can to prove to the court that you want to be involved in your children’s lives and have the best custodial arrangement possible. If you leave the home and only see your children occasionally this does not promote the type of long-term arrangement you want.
In fact, the court might look at the current arrangement and decide that you don’t need much time with your kids. What’s worse is you will probably pay child support regardless of whether you love the custodial arrangement or not.
If you have no obligation to leave the family home if your name is on the lease or you are part owner of the home. In fact, if she’s so gung-ho to destroy your marriage, tell her to leave.
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