22 answers

I Want a Divorce but Husband Won't Leave!

I have told my husband I want a divorce and plan on filing. We have a 4 year old daughter that will take her daddy not being with us very hard. So I have asked that he leave the house to at least let her maintain some sense of normalcy (and not loose her home and the surroundings she's familiar with).

He refuses to leave until we sell the house. Well with this economy that could be years. The bigger issue is that the environment is not healthy for our daughter with us arguing all the time. Is there anyway that I can legally have him leave the house?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all of the advice. I didn't get into the specifics of the issues of the marriage because I DO have grounds for a divorce. I have been dealing with this same stuff for years and now I am at my breaking point. Our issues are much larger than "being tired of him". There has been no physical abuse.

I really wanted to know if I could get him to leagally move. We have been married for 10 years. I have tried counseling and it didn't work. He puts on a "act" as the poor humble husband ...and I come off as being a bitch because he basically won't tell the truth. So there is no need to go to couseling if he won't be honest.

I am a christian and have prayed about this and for some reason God hasn't answered this prayer for me yet. I have read several books on marriage and it just doesn't work if you only have 1 person that is willing to make the change.

Finally, I truly have given this marriage everything I have. I could be better in areas but, I just don't have anything else to give. Because no matter what I do it won't change ...who he is deep down inside. That's a hard pill to swallow for me.... knowing that no matter how hard you try it won't make a difference.

Our situation is not as simple as just "sticking it out" this has been very hard on me emotionally and the effect of this really has really chipped away at my soul.

Thanks mom's for the advice. There were several things that were posted that really made me think about things differently.

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My very strict,wise, smart butt, and smart dad just had a convo about this last night. He told me to file anyway and stuff will happen.

he is probably acting on the advice of his lawyer. If HE leaves then he will put you in control of the property assets. Unless he is being abusive (and you can prove it with concrete evidence) I don't think there is any LEGAL way to make him leave. You really need to seek an attorney that can answer this question correctly.

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I have an idea...quit arguing all of the time & don't divorce. This way, your daughter will not take her daddy not being with you very hard & she doesn't have to listen to the constant arguing! Are you plugged in to a good church? Have you done everything you can do? Remember, sometimes there things you are unaware of that can be done to resolve conflicts. Where my husband & I are now compared to 5 years ago is astonishing. We were on the brink of divorce, with an affair glooming over our marriage. I can tell you this, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! I started focusing on my part in everything & treating him with respect whether he had earned it or not. Guess what happened? He earned it. He started treating me & his God given role in our family importantly, things I had "nagged" about for years. There is another way to get what you want...the question is, are you willing to swallow your pride & try something different? Giving up on your marriage is like giving up on God, & God has never met his match! I know I don't know you or your situation, but I know that anything is possible with God in first place, spouse in second, and kids in third.

2 moms found this helpful

Actually T., I did not read all your responses but I read some. There is some good information in there about staying together as a family and why you should. I would say if you love your husband, then you need to try and make it work. And if you feel you already have, then try harder.

But the bottom line is, this is your choice to make. You really need to pray and ask God to give you the answer. If you are truly unhappy and feel in your heart that you have done all that you can, then you make a choice and you live by it.

As far as the advise about making him leave, well I didn't see any that was actually correct. Texas is a community property state; however, once a divorce is filed the court will award temporary possession of the house to one spouse. The court will look at who has custody of the child as well when awarding temporary possession as well as the financial part. Then you will either reach an agreement or go to trial to decide who gets the house or what happens to the house. The Court will not make both of you live together under one roof while going through a divorce.

You did not say if you could afford to pay the house note or not but you really need to take that into consideration. Also know that your child is 4 and she will bounce back. There are programs out there to help her understand what you are going through. There are also programs to help you understand what she is going through. You and your husband should take the class "Kids in the Middle". The parenting center of FW gives the class.

Good luck. Please let me know if you need any help. I am a family law attorney in Fort Worth and would be happy to speak with you. You can call me at ###-###-####

J. Duke

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think so, he has every right to be there as much as you do. You might need to think about moving yourself and your daughter as much as you don't want too, do you have any friends or family you could stay with?

1 mom found this helpful

Your child needs your husband to stay in that house & she needs you to make a move to stop the arguing.

Dr. Laura's The Proper Care & Feeding and Woman Power saved my marriage. Seriously. I hated Dr. Laura, but with separation looming, I was willing to try anything to make sure my children weren't products of divorce. I followed the advice in those books & it saved us.

I hope you're able to work things out. Maybe your hubby not leaving is the universe's way of giving you a chance to turn this around.

1 mom found this helpful

ok War of the Roses. Why don't you use this time to go to counseling (if he won't go you do). You will be required to do mediation while going through divorce separation so why not start now and learn to work together.

Just remember before you scream as your spouse - he is still your spouse, little ears hear everything. Take it into another room and scream at him. Wait until she goes to sleep.
Very selfish of you both not to have that self control while she is in the room. Sorry but true.

Please remember simple respect for the other person goes a long way. What women have to do to keep their families together is a pretty big and tough job but you can do it.
I don't know the circumstances but make him independent of your responsibilities and that might ease your upset a bit.
Sorry for your situation. Sorry for your little one, she will suffer the most.c

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with Mama A!


1 mom found this helpful

Hi T., I hope today is a better day for you. First off, I don't know what world Mama A lives in but I think her advice is probably not very realistic. We do not know the details of you relationship but if you're as unhappy as you say you are my advice is to get out. Not everyone is lucky enough these days to have their parents stay together. My parents have been happily married for 42 years and I myself have been divorced. You WILL NOT ruin your child's life by divorcing. I have three sons who of course had an adjustment period when their father and i spilt after 12 years of marrriage. They were 10, 8 and 6 1/2 at the time. You deserve to be happy too whether your single or eventually find a relationship worthy of sharing with your life and children with. In my case, divorce was the only option for me. My husband wanted to stay and work things out but there was no way. OUR household was so full of anger and not love and THAT"S not fair to a child. If a child grows up in a home like that they will think that is the "norm" and they will expect nothing better in their future relationships. I've always said it's better to have TWO SEPARATE HAPPY household than ONE MISERABLE exisitence. I hope that this might help you but if you ned to talk please email me.

1 mom found this helpful

Ok, was the question "How do I fix my marriage?" NO!! Focus ladies, focus. Get off your high horses and answer the question T. asked! geez!
Anyways, I was fortunate and my ex-husband gave me the house and everything in it so I dont have any advice other than call that lawyer who posted below. ;) Good luck! You will survive and you will be happy.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think there is anything you can do to have him removed, it's his home too. So, in the meanwhile, I disagree with MamaA for the most part, but I do agree with her as far as stopping the arguing. You are both adults and have a daughter you both love, so, I would again agree with MamaA and say find a sitter and have a "date" this weekend, but not for the purpose of having sex, (which, by the way is not a cure!), and discuss, somewhere in public (so you two don't start yelling and such), about what the future plan is and how you can both accomodate the living arrangements for the time being. Discuss ways to reduce the arguing and ways to facilitate a smooth separation. Explain to him your reasons for not wanting to sell the house and move, you state its for your daughter's sake, that's noble. If you feel the two of you can't even sit down together and do this, I think you need to seek counseling, because it will be an ugly divorce and that will impact your daughter. I'm not a proponet for divorce but I feel that if you've tried working it out, really working it out, then there may come a point that you just have to separate. But being adults with a child that you both want to protect, you should work to put emotions aside and act logically and rationally for your daughter. Praying for you and your family.

I don't think you can make him leave. Texas is a community property state and if the house was purchased during the marriage you will have to wait until you get divorced to have the ownership of the house settled. I wont bash Mama A - she is obviously passionate about her beliefs. I must say that what Carrie D said was advice that we all should live by. There is so much divorce and tearing apart of families as if they mean nothing. I think it is rare for children to not be affected long term when their parents divorce.
I too am divorced and I will tell you that my daughters have not gotten over it. They were 7 & 3 at the time, they are now 20 & 16. They each have different issues. The oldest is so needy with men it is sad. She was close to her dad and his leaving had a huge impact that led to her doing anything to keep a guy in her life. One good thing was that we had an amicable divorce which was sometimes very difficult. We did not fight about property or anything. He has been awesome about paying child support. He just wasnt in their lives the way he should have been. The biggest thing that you MUST do is not argue in front of her. It takes away her security and changes who she is. If there is any way to save the marriage, it is worth trying. Mutual respect is a huge part of making a marriage work.

Mama A and her followers are unrealistic. there are some great reasons for divorce. (dr. Laura S is a quack!) do it if you need to. that being said, counseling would be great, just as an exit out the door and how to handle the divorce amicably.

as for the arguing, you can only control yourself. either find a way legally to make him move or control yourself and don't argue in front of the child. agree to make a peaceful home until the divorce. be a grownup even if he won't.

My very strict,wise, smart butt, and smart dad just had a convo about this last night. He told me to file anyway and stuff will happen.

Well if your not able to make him leave, are you able too? I know you want some normacy but sometime you just have to do what you have to do. If not then You need to have someone watch your daughter for a few hours and Have a sit down and talk to him without fighting. Tell him your feelings and have him share his. This is the hard part...Listen. Sometime we listen so half of what is said and we start tuning the rest out. Work out a way where your daughter not seeing both of you agueing.

When you feel a fight coming on walk to another room for 2 min and breath and then come out and put your daughter in another room for a few min and then come out and tell him how you feel about the issue in a calm mannor.

If your not able to talk to him maybe Marrige councling will not be so bad. Maybe you'll break thru to him there!

Hey T., as far as i know, after you've asked him to leave and he doesn't, you can file for an eviction. if he doesn't leave within 30 days, a constable will come over and make him leave. obviously you don't want your precious baby girl there, but i work in social services and that's always my advice to people when they want someone out of their house and they won't leave. i'm not sure of the cost or the exact court you'd go to but you can google that. that's my advice and that's exactly what i'd do if i had that problem, which i almost did two months ago! good luck sweetie and he obviously doesn't wanna leave b/c he knows it's a good thing he has w/you! :)

he is probably acting on the advice of his lawyer. If HE leaves then he will put you in control of the property assets. Unless he is being abusive (and you can prove it with concrete evidence) I don't think there is any LEGAL way to make him leave. You really need to seek an attorney that can answer this question correctly.

Hi T.,
I don't know whether you can legally make him leave the house, but I am writing to tell you not to listen to Mama A. That was completely unsupportive and it is none of her business whether you get a divorce or not. You have every right to happiness. You cannot be the best mom you can be if you are miserable. It will not ruin your child. My parents are divorced and I turned out fine as did my brother and sister. Good luck.


There is nothing you can do to make him leave the house at this time. It is as much his as it is yours. You can file for divorce and try and get a temporary order awarding the house to you and forcing him to move out, but there is no guarantee what the judge will do. You might want to talk to your husband to find out why he doesn't want to leave. It could be because he can't afford to get a place of his own and still help maintain the house or that he doesn't want to be the one to leave his daughter.

Nobody can tell you what is best for you and your family. I do believe that you should try and work on the marriage before getting a divorce, but I don't know what the problems are in the marriage. A marriage counselor is a good idea, even if it is just so the two of you can communicate about your daughter and do what is best for her during a divorce and after the divorce. No matter how much you don't like your husband, your daughter loves him and the two of you will always be connected.

Hey T.,
First of all, I want to say sorry that you are having to go through this. I personally do not know the law on this so the best thing to do is contact a lawyer. It sickens me that all of the people are passing their judgement on you . As a Christian, I am sure you have heard do not judge less ye be judged by the father. So please do not take some of the harsh comments to heart. I personally hope I never have to go through what you are going through. I know that Marriage is hardwork and there are times I have asked myself what in the world did I do. However, God reminds me how lucky I am. I do not know your situation nor is it any of my business. If you say you have done everything you have done then that is what I believe. I do know that you never get married or go into a relationship because of the kids (and personally I believe that should not be your reason to stay). The reason I say this is because sometimes if we do things just because we think it will help our kids we end up hurting them in the long run. We have to work at our marriage and who ever says marriage is easy is lying. It is not (I realize that you are not the one that said anything about staying with your husband for the sake of the kids). As far as God not answering your prayers, that is a interpretation issue. You see God answers our prayers all the time. However, some times it is not in the way we want him to. I also heard something last night at church that I love. The youth pastor said that sometimes when we pray for someone else's needs our needs our met.

Here is my advice: 1. Do not file for divorce just yet (wait atleast a year from seperation before filing for divorce).*** 2. I do agree with stopping the arguing. If he wants to argue with you, ignore him and walk away. 3.If the couple counseling does not work, find a Christian counselor for you. Work out any issues you may have. Remember the serentity prayer. We can only change the things we have control over (i.e. ourself). 4. If you cannot live with him and he will not leave. Take a break. Go stay with a friend or family member for a while. However, do not take all of your stuff. Maybe some time away will help yall. (I'll explain my reasoning on this in a minute. 5. Spend time in the word. Get involved at church. Have some worship time and time on your knees with God. Finally if none of these work and you have exhausted all possibilities then go talk to a divorce attorney.

The reason I say spend time apart and to wait atleast a year to file divorce is because it seems like yall are angry with each other. It also sounds like things are being done out of this anger (like either party refusing to leave). If you are angry with him or vice versa then seeing him all the time can sometimes intensify the anger. I remember when my daughter was about a year old and my husband and I split up. I was angry for the first year of her life (I think it may have been post partum). My husband (boyfriend at the time) couldn't take the fighting and the anger so he broke up with me. He said that he just didn't think he love me anymore and could not fight with me any longer. He said that he still wanted to be a good father and would do what ever he could for her. This devastated me. I was so mad at him for not sticking it out. Then my mom gave me some of the best news ever. She told me to take the next year and just concentrate on myself. Figure out what is wrong with my own attitude, actions, the things that make me unhappy and fix them. She told me to get intimate with God. To spend time in the word and in worship. To concentrate on positive things. To pray that God would heal all wounds and that he would help me with my self (again remember the serenity prayer). I also prayed for my husband everyday. I prayed that if it is God's will for us to be together that God would heal both of us so that one day we could meet back in the middle. During this year I did not date anyone nor did I hang out with any guy friends. I concentrated on myself and if I went out it was with one of my girl friends to the movie or to dinner. Believe it or not this was hard. The enemy has a way of tempting us and trying to discourage us from doing what God wants us to do. A year later my husband and I became engaged and go married 15 months after we broke up.

I hope that some of this gave you some encouragement. I don't know you personally but I will pray for your situation. If you ever want to vent, talk or just have someone to pray with you, email me and I will give you my number.

One more thing. Yes kids need both of their parents. However, they need their parents to be whole and healthy and to not be fighting. If having their parents live in two seperate places helps the parents be the parents that they need to be then that is what needs to happen. I cannot tell you how many kids I have talked to that live in homes where their parents are fighting constantly. They have heard their parents say numerous times we are staying together for the sake of our kids. Almost every one of those kids has told me at one time or another that they wish their parents would not stay together for them and they wish their parents would just stop fighting. You see when a parent says we are staying together for the sake of the kids and then later ends up getting a divorce. The kid ends up blaming themselves. Think about it.

Good Luck and God Bless

I would suggest talking to an lawyer. They would know what legal avenues you can take. It may even be just a legal separation. Some others are telling you don't divorce but you know what we don't live in your house and don't know what has gone one to bring you to this point. I know my parents separated for 2 years after they had been married for over 30 years and then got back together. They needed time apart. Yes going to counseling is a good thing but you have to do what's best for your little one. It's not healthy for her to see you fight. Good luck with every decision that you make and God Bless you and your precious daughter.


You will have to file for divorce and request a temporary hearing. At the time of the temporary hearing the Court will determine who will live in the house, temporary child support, custody, visitation and how the monthly expenses will be paid. Usually the courts try to maintain the status quo for a child. Is there enough income between the two of you to support two households or is there somewhere else your husband can go ie. live with a family member or friend? I am a family law attorney in Plano and would be glad to give you a free 30 minute consultation. ____@____.com

None of us know the reason why you want a divorce. You may have a really good reason and for people to say you should make it work when they have no idea what is going on is a bit ludicrous. As a product of parents who SHOULD be divorced, a two family home isn't always the best option. My parents never shouted or fought in front of us, but we knew. Kids just know. When I look at the relationships that me and my sisters have been involved in, I can trace it back to what we saw between our parents. Divorce is not great option, but for some it is the better option.
That being said, you cannot make him leave. But be careful. If you leave he can say you abandoned the home.
Good luck....

WOW! Mama A has some issues...

Do what you feel is right in your heart T.!

It sounds like Mama A needs some counseling...

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