Get Out of the House!

How many movies have you seen where one spouse (usually the wife) screams at the husband to get out of the house because she wants a divorce? We’ve seen that scene so many times that we have come to believe that the husband must leave and slink off to a hotel while he finds a place to live. But does the husband have to leave? NO.

There is a difference between what is practical and what is legal. Practicality probably demands that you find a place to sleep for the night however, the court is not going to throw you out of your house and neither will the police. You can stay in your home until such time as one person is required to leave the home to comply with the law as to the amount of time the couple has lived apart, in different homes, and without sex, in order to file for divorce. In Maryland, that time is 12 months for couples with children.

If you can afford to move out at the beginning of the separation process, you will feel calmer but it will place a financial strain on you to support two households. Yes, you still need to provide support for your children and, to the best of your ability, to provide support for your wife. DO NOT provide payments in cash, but use a check so that you can show the court that you have not shirked your duties to provide for your family.

If you have a landlord or mortgage company, pay them directly because not only is your credit at stake but the court will not look favorably on you if you leave your family without housing. If your wife works, then agree on an amount that you will provide towards the rent or mortgage payment.

Next—-hire a lawyer!

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