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The Judge
The Judge, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 703
Experience:  Active family lawyer & former Family Court judge with over 30 years experience in family law.
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If I leave my husband to seperate will I give up our house and property Abandonment

Customer Question

I have been married for 8 years and discovered on my own about a 1.5 yrs ago that my husband had an affair. When I got proof it was already over. He got the woman an apartment lease in his name. I was devastated & he said he was sorry & never do it again. I told him I wouldn't stand for it and if he ever cheated again I'd leave. A few nights ago his phone went off & it sounded like a text message. He looked said he had a couple of voicemails. I picked up his phone since he didn't tell the truth & I started scrolling down & found a few texts in his inbox from a # XXXXX last Friday (a week ago now) I read them quickly & started upstairs & wrote down the number. From memory the 1st text: I miss playing with you 2) Can I send you a couple of pics 3) same to you :). He pleads he's innocent and they're random texts & he doesn't know this person. I called the # & got a woman's vm. I want to give him an ultimatum for the truth but need to know if I leave what does that mean for our property?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  The Judge replied 5 years ago.
Hello Dixiechick,

The answer to your question is no, if you leave you will not be giving up or abandoning or deserting your house and property.

However, I would strongly advise you to consult a divorce attorney before you make any decisions.

Here's why.

First of all, you are in a very emotional state right now. That's to be expected under the circumstances. But while you are in such a state, it is very tempting to make rash decisions and take actions that may not be in your best interest.

Secondly, divorces take time. And there are 2 time periods in a divorce. The period between the time you file and the time the divorce is finalized. And the period after the divorce is finalized. The period you asked about is the second period: the time after the divorce is finalized. If you leave now, you will not jeopardize the award of property when the divorce is finalized. But you could jeopardize your position during the first period. And that time period is going to last months, at least. For example, if you leave without proper planning, you could create a situation where he gets to live in the house until the divorce is final. And you don't. And there are many such factors to be considered before you commit to a course of action.

So, I strongly urge you to talk to your divorce lawyer before you decide to leave or take any other substantive action.

I hope this answers your question. If there is anything that you do not understand, please let me know and I will be happy to explain further.


In the meantime, please click "Accept" so that I may be paid for my answer and any subsequent follow-ups with you.


Thank you,


The Judge (actively practicing family lawyer and former Family Court judge)


P.S. I am frequently asked how someone can specifically request that I, personally, answer a question. Here’s how: for new questions in the future, always begin your question with “QUESTION FOR THE JUDGE.”

The Judge, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 703
Experience: Active family lawyer & former Family Court judge with over 30 years experience in family law.
The Judge and 10 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
QUESTION FOR THE JUDGE
Thank you. I think I understand your answer but I want to ask your advice specifically. It is killng me the uncertainty of it. I have to know and I feel like if I put the ultimatum to him that he tell me the truth about these texts or I am leaving. Although I have been very trusting in the past I am not stupid. I would like this weekend to have him call that number and hopefully I'll get the truth. But either way I want to know that since my name is XXXXX XXXXX on the mortgage and some land that we bought that he can not change that should I leave. I guess I need to know that I have a leg stand on. I am very serious about the infidelity and I know that he knows. This is probably why he's acting innocent and doesn't know anything. Could you expand a little more on your response please?:
For example, if you leave without proper planning, you could create a situation where he gets to live in the house until the divorce is final. And you don't. And there are many such factors to be considered before you commit to a course of action.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
QUESTION FOR THE JUDGE
I have paid but will you please answer my question for clarity? Thank you Judge.
Expert:  The Judge replied 5 years ago.
Hello again Dixiechick, and thank you for the payment anf positive feedback.

This is what I would suggest. Proceed with your plan over the weekend. If it turns out badly, go see a divorce lawyer on Monday. Even if you leave the house after the confrontation, call a divorce lawyer on Monday and go talk to him.

This is what I would like to see happen and a reasonably competent divorce lawyer can make this happen. I would rather see him leave or be forced to leave the house and you stay in it. If you can't afford to pay the mortgage, I would like to see him pay, or be forced to pay some or all of the mortgage. I would like to see a realistic set of ground rules for how things are going to operate from this weekend until the divorce is final. Who's going to pay what bills? Security in knowing that he can't destroy or hide any property. Security in knowing that he can't incur any more debt that you will be responsible for, etc.

For months after the passion of this weekend has died down, you're going to have to live the details of your everyday life. All I'm suggesting you do is realize that, and don't take any rash actions that are going to make living that life any harder than it is already going to be.

Look at it this way. Your asking whether you are jeopardizing your right to "own" the property when the divorce is finalized. That will be months from now. Of course, that is a very important question.

I'm suggesting that you also consider asking these kinds of questions: Am I jeopardizing my right to live in my house next week? Am I going to know what bills he is going to pay and what bills I am going to pay next month?

I can tell you that you are not jeopardizing your ownership rights in your property which will be divided months from now when the divorce is finalized. I cannot tell you whether you are going to have the right to live in your house next week, or whether your husband is going to drain your bank account, or transfer money out of his 401K. Those are also answers that you need, protections that you need. And you need them now, not months from now.

You can only get those answers from the court. So go see a lawyer on Monday, before you take any rash steps in the heat of the passion of the confrontation. Be smart and protect yourself.

I'll be here for the rest of the day. So I'm happy to follow up with you as much as you need.

the Judge
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
QUESTION FOR THE JUDGE

THANK YOU so very much!! This does give me more clarity and I appreciate it very much. This is great sound advice and I am planning to confront this head on with some kind of answer not just not knowing. One good thing (now) and it is definitely a control thing. But he has several credit cards in his name only and I've only seen one of the statements for 1 of the cards. He does it all online and never gave me any cards. So should it come to divorce since my name is XXXXX XXXXX and I've never used his credit cards then I should not be liable for his credit cards - correc? I insisted that he show me the statements when I discovered the affair but he kept brushing me off about it. That is something else that really bothers me because I have helped pay those credit cards and don't know who or what he's paid for on them. I did see where he got a cash advance for $400.00 last December (yr ago) to help pay for the woman's apartment rent. I found this and have'nt seen any statements on that card in quite a while. Unfortunately, I was laid off from my job 6 months ago so that is another strain we've been dealing with. However, my daughter who has an apartment and is in college has told me I can stay with her and her roommate should I need to leave. So, I do have a place to go but not sure so I am so glad you have helped me with this. After confronting him then I probably will go see an attorney. I guess I'll know more once I confront him again for the truth! I hope I am able to repond to you after I know more. Thank you so much Judge! I give you a 10! Have a great weekend sir and hope to speak with you again.

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