13 answers

What Does Separation Mean in a Divorce?

My husband emailed me and said as far as he is concerned we are separated. A very summarized version of our situation: we've been married 9.5 years, have 2 young kids, we live in California, he works full time, I just went back to school to switch careers and have no job (used to be home full time with my kids), he has been verbally and financially abusive for many years (breaks stuff like doors and throws things around, yells, swears, that kind of things, yells at the kids and calls me names) I never went to domestic violence help cause I thought I had no physical marks so they wouldn't help. Finally last week made an appointment for next week.
Thanksgiving day was so stressful as usual, the yelling and calling me names, being so mad so I made food and his mother came over, I don't know anymore if I should talk to him or just care for the kids so I didn't speak to him to avoid getting yelled at in front of the kids. After his mother left he sent me the email.
I have no idea what this means, we live in the same house obviously, he moved all his stuff to another bedroom. Is this like filing for divorce? Can he ask me to leave? Can he take the kids and leave? I'm in a bit of panic so I want to be prepared.
My parents are close so I can take the kids and go live with them while I get a job, I know I needed to leave but I have been weathering this time because I need to finish school and get a job so I can support my kids.
Any advice or experience that you can send my way it would be helpful.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for all the encouraging words and advice. I will have my appointment tomorrow and there is a lawyer that does free community consultation once a month so I will be attending that.
Thanks so much for the support.

More Answers

I suspect... he's trying to get a "date" in writing that precedes your actual separation date.

There's a "magic 10" number in many family courts.

At the "magic 10"... spousal support is on the table.

I'm a little jaded after 11 months of reeeeally ugly divorce, so I could be wrong, but that's my first thought. That he doesn't actually want to move out, yet (or pay you anything, arrange for childcare, do his own laundry, etc.), but by the time he thinks he'll be ready to, it will be either too close to, or AFTER your 10 year anniversary.

DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT agree with him.

Ideally... shoot back a "Funny. Haha." kind of response. AKA get it in writing that you aren't agreeing with him.

DO speak to an attorney. PRONTO. As in, research (call up everyone you know who might know a good divorce/family law attorney) this weekend, and go in on monday.

________

YES. EITHER OF YOU CAN TAKE THE KIDS AND LEAVE... until an emergency custody order is in place. It's 100% legal for EITHER of you to just walk off with the kids.

6 moms found this helpful

Definitely go go go to that appointment next week. The wonderful thing about these places, is they can point you in the right directions. They will help you (or will find the right person/people) navigate all this. Write down every single question you have, even if you aren't sure if they could help with it. Write down all the questions you posted here.

I'm so sorry you are going through this, and that I don't have more advice. I hope things get better for you.

4 moms found this helpful

I'm sorry to hear about your situation, but from what you described your better off without him. Keep your appointment with the domestic violence counselor and don't move out. Let him move out. Hopefully the courts will let you stay in the house and make him pay child and spousal support. It's worth getting a consultation with a lawyer. Good luck. You and your kids deserve better.

3 moms found this helpful

No Just run... and never look back...

3 moms found this helpful

If he has moved all of his stuff out of your shared bedroom into another bedroom, isn't sleeping with you and has sent you an e-mail saying as far as he is concerned you guys are separated....I believe your husband wants out of your marriage...and from what you have said, I think you should let him go.

3 moms found this helpful

You need to go see a divorce lawyer. He or she needs to give you legal advice for your state.

I sure hope you have some money in your name...

D.

3 moms found this helpful

First of all don't stay one more day with the bastard. Call his bluff, move to your parent's home, take the kids, and scrimp and save and do odd jobs, clean homes, do garden work on weekends, things that don't need a degree, so he is out of your life, and prove to him that you don't need him. File immediately for child support. When you leave him, you will get back your self worth. Remember all the love with which your mother raised you, not to be torn down by this idiot.

Updated

First of all don't stay one more day with the bastard. Call his bluff, move to your parent's home, take the kids, and scrimp and save and do odd jobs, clean homes, do garden work on weekends, things that don't need a degree, so he is out of your life, and prove to him that you don't need him. File immediately for child support. When you leave him, you will get back your self worth. Remember all the love with which your mother raised you, not to be torn down by this idiot.

3 moms found this helpful

Legal separation stops "joint money flow".
Legal separation stops "his income from being part of yours"--- my female tenants that have left their hubbys have to complete a "separation" form, if they are not "legally" separated, then we have to use their husbands income to determine how much rent they will pay. If husband is not giving them money.... this is not a good thing.
You need a legal separation to protect your assets and credit.

2 moms found this helpful

stay married at least ten years and you can claim half his social security

1 mom found this helpful

Separated means living separately but still married. It is often a time when couples take stock of their marriage to see if there is any hope of saving it.

In this case it seems like he has decided to just live separately but still stay married. This may mean he still loves you and wants to stay married and it may also be an anger thing.

I would say you might want to see if there are any married student housing opportunities on your campus. A single parent can usually get one when they have kids.

They are usually much cheaper than other housing around and often the bills are included.

You could pay for this out of your FA if you receive any. If not then you could apply for a student loan based on "his" income since you are legally married. Then you could just move you and the kids to the apartment. Then he could have the "separation" and find out if he is willing to make serious modifications to his personality by going to counseling.

1 mom found this helpful

Um I would say that he making it clear to you that you are separated so he can see someone else. He probably wants to have intimate relations with others without technically cheating. If you leave the house, it'll be like you're giving up your share of the house. He doesn't want to divorce because he knows it'll be very exspensive for him. He doesn't want to have to sacrifice his house or money with a divorce but wants to look else where probably. If you do get a divorce, he will have to pay you spousal & child support. Financially it maybe easier for you to live together but I know people who did that when they were separated leading to divorce and it got really bad for them & their kids. If it gets to that point, you"ll have to file a court order. It's probably up to you if you want a divorce because he won't initiate it but it seems like he doesn't want to be with you either. It's too bad but you will need to be strong. It's best if you two start seeing a counselor, even if it doesn't save the marriage it will help teach you how to communicate afterwards for the sake of your children. Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow! I'm so sorry. Can you move in with your parents for a year or two, until you get on your feet? Is this an option. Do your parents know how he treats you...especially him doing this in front of your kids. If I were you, I would want out of there sooner than later.

1 mom found this helpful

http://www.cadivorce.com/news/spousal-support-calculator/

in California he will have to pay his & YOUR attorney bills

don't leave the house.

ERASE everything text/emails/all history in your computer and cell phone
you don't want him to see what you are up to.

also be aware of SPYWARE on your phone & computer this is very easy to do does not take long (this has happened to two of my friends) during divorce

keep us posted

1 mom found this helpful

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