So Many Questions--what Do I Need to Do

Updated on September 25, 2011
M.K. asks from Eldorado, WI
10 answers

Loooong story short, husband claims he is looking for somewhere else to live starting Monday. Not srue if separation or if he's filing for divorce (gulp). This is NOT what I want, I have been going to counseling, been through a lot, etc. This is HIS choice (although he's blaming me/my attitude). Anyway, IF he moves out, am I responsible for helping with HIS new bills while we are married? Should I open my own savings/checking ASAP?? (he has his own "slush fund" account, but I never bothered, so everything is currently joint). At what point do I consider getting a lawyer (I will NOT file for divorce myself--I believe we can work through the issues, but if he's not willing, I may be forced) and how do I find a good one. Devastated, nowhere to turn--MY family is 3 hours away. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Won't I then get in trouble, black-balled, be giving him "ammo" against me for taking the money out of the accounts? I handle the checkbook, etc, but still...Also, I think we are each "authorized users" on each credit card, does that make us equally responsible for those bills? phone, electric, etc are in his name--what about those? And how do I get to a lawyer when I work full time???

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answers from St. Louis on

I would separate accounts now. That is not to say you will not choose or not to help him but it keeps you in control of the decision.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Charlotte on


15 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Dawn B was dead-on with her response.

You need a lawyer to protect yourself & the kids....& then to handle the divorce later on, if needed.

You absolutely do not want him filing for custody you?

Better to be safe, than sorry. He's made the 1st move....time for you to protect the homefront.

Oh, & as a heads-up, we recently closed out a joint checking acct & my DH was able to do this ALONE. We called 1st & were shocked that he could do it! Watch out!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


I'm sorry this is happening!!! How sad!!! I too would be devastated. However, I would be proactive and CYA!!!

1. Open an account in YOUR name only.
2. If you work outside the home - make sure you change your direct deposit to this account.
3. If he leaves - he is responsible for HIS bills.
4. Hire a lawyer NOW to get separation orders filed so that you are absolved of any of his new debt...doesn't matter that you think you can work through the issues. YOU NEED TO COVER YOUR BUTT!!!
5. if you have ANY joint credit cards or the house is in BOTH of your names - then it is ESSENTIAL that you get a separation order to ensure the courts designate who is responsible for paying don't want your credit ruined if he goes hog W. and charging things up the wazoo and then says - oh dear - i thought we were in this together!!

I would COMMUNICATE with him...tell him what you are doing so that he's not surprised by receiving official can clearly state that you feel things can be worked out - but you need ensure that you are covered.

it's always easier to blame than it is to accept responsibility. That's hard for anyone...

I've not lived in California in years...go to the court house and find a list of attorneys in your area...I believe - not in humor - that Angie's list has a section for lawyers too. so check that out. but it is VERY IMPORTANT that you cover your butt....

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Be careful with the joint accounts. You need to be sure he can't take everything out and reopen accounts in his own name only. My ex did that. GRRR

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

If YOUR name is on anything... you WILL be responsible, too.

Yes, get your own account(s) too.
Or, also take your name off of, any said accounts you share with him.
Even credit card accounts.
Otherwise, you will be responsible for it, too.

Get an Attorney, NOW.
A good aggressive Lawyer.
Just in case.

Your Husband, seems to revolve around himself.
ie: he just announced, he is looking for somewhere else to live... with no hindsight or future thoughts.
AND, YOU do not even know... if this means separation or divorce!
-How come? Did you ask him???

Yes, tell your family.
You will need moral support or help or anything.

DOCUMENT everything.... for if/when this gets into legal separation or divorce, categories.

AND, you can also get a Pro-Bono Attorney if you Google Search "Legal Aid Societies" in your city.

Be smart.

You did not say, that your Husband ALSO attended counseling. Just you did.
And regardless, HIS decision, is to leave.
AND he has a 'habit' of blaming you. Hence, he will NOT, "own" his responsibility in this.
See that for what it is.

Or sometimes, separations can then make a person, realize, that they want to revisit, the relationship.

ALSO, research "child custody." There are MANY different types of child custody. So know that.
For example:

Again, be smart.
Get your resources/information/support network in place.
"You" do not want to file for divorce. But, you don't know what HE will do.
Since, he is just doing things, despite.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I've been in your shoes and ditto what Sue H and Dawn B advised, God bless, M. {{HUGS}}

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would suggest going to an attorney so you can find out what your rights are and what you should be doing. Each state has different laws. In NJ there is no such thing as a legal separation so until you file or are divorced you are both responsible for bills etc. I know you are hurting but you have to think about yourself and legally protect yourself, and if you have children. I wanted to take the high road when my ex left so I allowed him in to get his things and he stole my engagement ring and wedding ring, so do NOT be trusting. Get a consult from a lawyer you don't have to file you just need to make sure you do what you need to do at this time. Sorry that you are going through this terrible time!! Good luck!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't think I can really add any new info. Just wanted to offer support and wish I could offer you some sort of comfort! What a difficult, devastating situation. I'm so sorry your family is going through this. (((hugs)))

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Since he said he's thinking of moving let him know that you want to separate your bank accounts. Basically call his bluff. Print out something from the legalzoom website so it looks like you are being proactive. Heres the link

Leave it laying out where he will see it accidentally.
In the meantime consult an atty and make plans for what you will really do if he really does go. Does he have the money to rent another place? Sounds like he wants his own "bachelor pad" for a little while.... not good.
Sorry youre having to deal with this right now. We will be hearing about a lot more in the next few months. People get stressed out when the holidays are around the corner, most separations and divorces happen in the fall/winter season.

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