My wife just told me she wants to separate and I need to move out of the house within a week, but my concerns are about our two-year-old daughter.
Are there any legal complications I need to be aware of if I do end up moving out of my home?
In some states, like Virginia where I practice, you need to be very cautious of moving out of your home to begin a separation period from your spouse.
The first concern is that in some states, desertion is a ground for divorce, and while you may not intentionally be deserting your spouse, he or she may then file for divorce against you.
Some states require judges to consider the reason for dissolution of the marriage when dividing marital property, debts or support. If you move out and your wife claims you deserted her, this may have an impact on financial aspects of your divorce.
The second concern is if you have a two-year-old daughter and she stays in the marital residence and you leave, your access to her is severely restricted. Your fight for primary or shared custody may be more difficult if you lose daily contact with your daughter.
I encourage you to contact an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction to go over the grounds for divorce in that state, and especially review whether grounds of desertion can impact property or support issues.
An attorney in your state can also review your goals for custody and visitation of your daughter and advise you accordingly on whether moving out or staying in the marital residence will be best.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney in Virginia, contact Cordell & Cordell.