What are my rights if I leave the house?

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  • #45524 Report


    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post. I am currently in the process of figuring out what I’m going to do if I separate from my husband. And that’s a very very small IF, because I am 99% sure this is what I want. It has been bad for years. He is emotionally unavailable and completely unreliable, even for small things. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter about the details.

    I was the one to bring up separating because he never brings any issues up unless I start a conversation, and then they are brought up in retaliation. So he acted like he was blindsided by my suggestion despite the fact we have not been speaking together or sleeping in the same room for weeks.

    It’s the age old story, he makes all the money, I’ve spent the last five years as primary caregiver to my daughter. I also went back to work when she was 8 months, so I’ve been working and handling everything at home. He does help out with the cleaning occasionally, and he does get up in the morning with my daughter, but other than that it’s pretty much all me. I do all of the ’emotional labour’ as it’s called.

    I don’t want to make him leave our family home. We were able to buy it with his inheritance. I practically paid nothing. It’s his house. He also has a son from another relationship who has already gone through all of this break up stuff, and I really don’t want him to have to uproot himself again (he’s with us part time). I want the kids to be able to stay in this house. I envision, at least temporarily, that I will rent a room somewhere and come and go to do the school runs and stay with my daughter until my husband gets home in the evenings. I know it’s unconventional, but that’s how I see it working. Eventually I would like to have my own place where my daughter can come and stay, but for me the important thing is having this house where both kids will have a sense of normality through all of this. He is not interested in ‘nesting’.

    He wants me to reconsider all of this and has begged me to go to counselling. I have agreed, but have made it clear that I am not in love with him anymore and I have no trust or hope left. I don’t think I can spend much longer sleeping on the living room floor and feeling like a live-in maid. I would like to have my own little place and do as I explained above, but I’m worried about my rights. If I leave the house, will that look bad if this all eventually goes to court? I know it looks bad on men (and I honestly do think, as a woman, that men often get a rubbish deal when it comes to courts). But I’m also aware the power balance is very different here. He owns everything financially. I don’t consider him to be horrible, but I also have no idea what he’s capable of. Ideally, I will eventually have a suitable place with a room for my daughter and we can work out a proper custody arrangement. But for now I just need space. So if I was to rent a room, what does that look like legally? Thank you if you have any advice.

    #45526 Report


    It depends on what you want. Do you want half of the house you are in . If you are worried about custody arrangements it wouldnt make no difference if u moved out and rented and daughter come with you. Your husband seems reasonable so maybe you should attend mediation and make him see why its not working at moment between yourselves and make him see how unhappy you are and want change. I am guessing there are still things that can be done to change things.

    I would like to reassure you that renting a 2 bedroom flat somewhere would have no impact on custody arrangements though. It may be possible u can sort contact arrangements out through mediation as family courts would be last resort

    #45529 Report


    Morning Goldenbear,

    Your worrys lie with what you want when you come out of this finally. As it sounds you have made the decision already and consuelling rarely helps from this stage.

    I separated 6 months ago and moved out of the house. I rented a 2 bed flat near to the family home and co parent with my ex wife. I left the family home as I wanted them to remain secure in the house and wouldn’t think of doing it differently if it happened again. You will be entitled to your share of the house when the day finally comes and you divorce but you need to not feel guilty even if he used inheritance money. You were a team and created this life together. You are entitled to what you created over time.

    And finally be brave, your kids will love you weather you decide to separate or not. Understand your mental health and happiness is just as important as theirs. Well done for being strong and making the step.

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