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Old 04-09-2013, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Getting Him Out of the House


These forums are such a blessing to me.

I am staging an intervention for my husband in early June. No matter what happens I have decided (with help from fantastic posters here) that I am no longer going to live with someone in active addiction or early recovery.

The logistics of this keep creeping back to eat at me.

The law in my state is that all parties to the marriage have the right to be in the marital home. It takes two years to complete a divorce unless both parties consent. My husband is well aware of his legal rights (we are both law school graduates). He has already stated he will not leave on his own and will contest a divorce.

I was going to file for divorce if he refused to go to rehab after the intervention. But this seems to leave me open for risk - like he goes, but does not work a program and comes back and this crap continues.

Filing gives me the ability to petition for a motion to have him removed from the house. It could take a few months from the date of the petition to get to a hearing. I could win OR I could loose. Then he is still in my house.

I probably need to move out. Help me think this through, please. I do not want to move out of my home. My children are 1 and 3. The logistics of moving them into an apartment makes me want to pull covers over my head and never move. The indignity of paying for rent and for my mortgage while he lives in my house gives me heart palpitations. We only have one car - which happens to be in his name, although he cannot make the loan payments. He will throw many fits over the car. (I would offer to do something reasonable like live very nearby and share it- but he will make that a train wreck. Yet, I cannot afford another vehicle).

What really gets me is I love my house. It is a perfect distance from my job, letting me walk to work - the only stress relief I seem to be able to fit into my life. It has a fenced-in yard where my almost insanely active boys can let off steam. The set up is lovely and it makes me feel peaceful to be there. I also (and quite fortunately for me, because I am sure that there are many of you on these forums who have far less financial control that I do, so I get it that I am probably pretty lucky - but these are my hang-ups, so I hope you will indulge me), pay for my house.

(Warning, childish venting about to occur) - I pay for it. It is mine. I want him out of it and I do not want to have to move out to make that happen.

Okay. Speak truth to me. I am ready to hear that I need to let this go.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hope for the best, plan for the worst. File for divorce and sole use of the marital home ASAP. You can always change your mind later. Heck you could even divorce then re-marry if you really wanted to. No laws against that.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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law school graduate here. This is not legal advice, BUT if you are the only one working and your boys live there, I can't imagine how you wouldn't be awarded the house and the car? BEST INTEREST of the child is the law in my state and if you are the breadwinner and the mom, I would be surprised if he were afforded any rights...
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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File first and state you want sole use of the marital home while you wait out the divorce and sort things all out.

That's what I had to do to get my xAH out. I have no guarantee I will be able to stay in it (since I can not afford it on my own) with my girls once we are divorced. But getting to be there now while xAH turns what should be a simple divorce into an epic battle in court, DOES provide me a measure of relief and peace.

I get the whole "I love my house, I want to be here". My reasons for wanting to stay are tied to my kids (fenced in yard, friends on both sides of the street, near a park, walkable to school etc...)

But since he's been gone and the peace that has provided, I'd be okay living in my car (okay maybe not) if it meant not ever having to be with him again. What I am saying is that once you have him out of the house or you leave with your kids, the life you will get back simply by being away from him will make the place you live much less important than who inhabits that space with you.

Does that make any sense?
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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wtbh, how true is that! I LOVED my house. I loved everything about it. And I got it in the divorce. And found that I couldn't afford it on my own and once I started making my own decisions, I found another house and made it mine and my children's and XAH never set foot in it and I loved that aspect of feeling safe and separate from him.

I found that when I lived in the marital home - even post-marriage - XAH was comfortable enough to come into the house. To the kids' rooms, to the kitchen. He lived there for 10 years, he wasn't a stranger there, and boundaries were never his strong suit.

So I know what you mean about living in your car - okay, maybe a HOVEL - being preferable to living in chaos and disordered relationships again.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I found that when I lived in the marital home - even post-marriage - XAH was comfortable enough to come into the house. To the kids' rooms, to the kitchen. He lived there for 10 years, he wasn't a stranger there, and boundaries were never his strong suit
Right now I can't technically bar him from entering the home since we aren't yet divorced and I don't have a restraining order (though I wish I did).

And like you say, I find that he has NO respect (shocker) for any boundaries at all. Boundaries = I'm abusing him (LOL!)

We are upside down in the mortgage but I really would love to sell the house (or xAH can buy me out of it) and get something that is just mine and the girls bc I think for as long as I am in what was the "marital" home he will have a sense of entitlement to be there when he likes.

Anyway, I can totally relate to what you describe.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Whomever ends up with the house, if either of you, won't be buying the other out. There's nothing to buy.
I wonder if negative equity could be used against the rest of the assets? I think so. It is like taking on debt in exchange for something else.
Something to think about.

I think what others have posted if the house is contentious would sound reasonable to a judge. Walking distance to your work, not uprooting the kids.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Does he take care of the children now or am I mixing him up with someone else? If so, I would go ahead and place them in childcare outside the home to take that argument away from him if and when he wants to get custody of them.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I understand "loving your house" ~ but just my e, s, & h - I thought I really loved mine too, but my exah wouldn't leave - it because unsafe mentally & emotionally for me to stay ~ I left.
I became so willing to be in a safe place that I decided I would sleep in a cardboard box on the side of the road than sleep in that house any longer.

Now, 5 yrs later ~ I have a better life and a much happier safe home ~ I just had to be willing to Let Go & Let my HP lead me to what was healthier for me

wishing you the best

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Old 04-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Does he take care of the children now or am I mixing him up with someone else? If so, I would go ahead and place them in childcare outside the home to take that argument away from him if and when he wants to get custody of them.
So, while attending law school in the evenings, he took care of our kids during the day. (He quit a job at a law firm when I went back to work after maternity leave one). When we started that arrangement, the agreement was that he'd go to work once he graduated.

Now he says things to the effect that I just don't understand how important a stay at home parent is (his mom was home. And she cooked, cleaned and all the rest, which he does not do).

If I thought I could get them into care without it starting WWIII, I would. Kid 1 goes to preschool, but poor kid 2 get stuck inside most of the day eating Cheerios.

I worked from home for the first year after kid 2 was born (for the first 6 months he was often nursing while I worked on my lap top). I still flex a lot, so he'd be hard pressed to make a case that I am not very involved. I do the teacher contact and doctors. And the husband disappears on weekends- so I have to hope this all helps any custody argument I have to make.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am in a different country but here the marital home is split 50/50.
If you can't afford to buy him out then you will loose it anyway.
I lost mine as I was a stay at home Mum when we split & a part time working Mum when relationship property split. I had to pay for half the car too even though it had been put on our mortgage so effectively paid for it twice.
Reality is the majority of the time the male gets the house cause the female is raising the kids & has no funds behind her.
If there is any way you can fight for it please do but just look at the big picture too.
Best of luck, I know it's not a nice place to me.
If it's any consolation I went on to buy another house, it's no where near the house we had but it is home to me & my 2 girls & the home they'll remember.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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law school graduate here. This is not legal advice, BUT if you are the only one working and your boys live there, I can't imagine how you wouldn't be awarded the house and the car? BEST INTEREST of the child is the law in my state and if you are the breadwinner and the mom, I would be surprised if he were afforded any rights...
I imagine that he could propound the theory that he is the primary caretaker. Unfortunately, my area of practice is not family law, so I don't have a sense of how the case law falls. However, I do know that we have a set of statutorily enumerated factors for the best interest of the child analysis. Alcohol use is a specific factor and the judge has to evaluate each factor in a written opinion (this is state-specific and not intended as legal advice).

So, I am hopeful. I have only had one consultation with a lawyer, but she was not as worried as I thought she might be.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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File first and state you want sole use of the marital home while you wait out the divorce and sort things all out.

That's what I had to do to get my xAH out. I have no guarantee I will be able to stay in it (since I can not afford it on my own) with my girls once we are divorced. But getting to be there now while xAH turns what should be a simple divorce into an epic battle in court, DOES provide me a measure of relief and peace.

I get the whole "I love my house, I want to be here". My reasons for wanting to stay are tied to my kids (fenced in yard, friends on both sides of the street, near a park, walkable to school etc...)

But since he's been gone and the peace that has provided, I'd be okay living in my car (okay maybe not) if it meant not ever having to be with him again. What I am saying is that once you have him out of the house or you leave with your kids, the life you will get back simply by being away from him will make the place you live much less important than who inhabits that space with you.

Does that make any sense?
I hear you. There are just so many things I have to let go of related to my dreams for my life. This one feels especially hard to lay down.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I live in Texas, and I went through this not once but twice. Anyway, I petitioned for sole use of the house and got it. It took about a month though. It was hell, but I made it through.

My advice is to see what happens first, if you can get a hearing soon enough. If not, move out if you get to the breaking point. It will take time and wreck your credit to allow the house to go into foreclosure, but it may be worth it. Your peace of mind and the safety of your children are the most important things.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Is your husband unable to work?
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:19 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Is your husband unable to work?
He seems perfectly capable of working to me. He could pick up temporary work reviewing legal documents with one or two phone calls- there is plenty of demand here.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I live in Texas, and I went through this not once but twice. Anyway, I petitioned for sole use of the house and got it. It took about a month though. It was hell, but I made it through.

My advice is to see what happens first, if you can get a hearing soon enough. If not, move out if you get to the breaking point. It will take time and wreck your credit to allow the house to go into foreclosure, but it may be worth it. Your peace of mind and the safety of your children are the most important things.
The house is financed in my name only. So I am not sure that not making payments helps me.

You are correct- I will have a better sense of what this looks like one I make the petition and get a hearing date.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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It seems to me you are in a pretty good position - though might have to pay some alimony. Nothing to do but move on and file if he refuses to get treatment. He can work so .....I don't think the Courts would award him alimony for very long. Just my opinion but I would go ahead and put the kids in day care which I think you mentioned was your wish anyway. He then loses his job as housedad and it does establish a little more credibility on your end with his alcoholism.

Are you the sole breadwinner? Does he have access to your money? If so might be time to open a new account without his name on it.

Why don't you make an appt with a family atty? Usually they have a strategy to put in place to protect you before you even ever file (such as going ahead a separating finances).
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:16 AM   #19 (permalink)
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redatlanta has it right. Consult a family lawyer NOW who can advise you on the best strategy for arranging things before any separation. Don't guess. I used to try to do all the research myself, and got myself tied up in knots because I'm just too close to the situation.

Incidentally, many lawyers will reduce their fees as a professional courtesy to lawyer clients. All the lawyers I have ever dealt with did that for me. Just ask before you sign a retainer agreement.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have the same problem you have. I love my house and it's a burden for many reasons to leave not the least being I have the job that supports the house payments, etc. And I've been told by my lawyer we both have a right to be here and nothing I can do about it unless his behavior escalates beyond verbal abuse and throwing stuff around the room. I've also been informed I'll probably end up with the house and that we could file and ask that I be awarded possession of the house while things are progressing but no guarantee the judge would honor that request. If you haven't seen a lawyer, see one right away. Because you have minor children, you might be able to stay in the house. My heart goes out to you. It's very, very difficult. I personally have decided to leave the house but it's taken me a year to get to that point. I thought I could stay in the house and cope with the situation but I didn't factor in his progressive disease of alcoholism. I'm glad you found this board. Everyone is so helpful and has lots of experience to share.
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