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My wife wants to separate and wants me to move out of the house. I don't want to move out.

Wake Forest, NC |

Can she or the courts force me to move out? If she really wants to separate, won't she have to move out of the house if I don't agree to go?

There has been no violence or even threat of violence in the relationship. Her complaint is mostly that I tell her what to do. It's true that when I come home from work and the kids come home from school, I do expect her to cook, clean and pay the bills.

Attorney Answers 1


Short answer. If you don't want to go, you don't have to go. But it might be a good idea anyway.

Some folks are afraid that if they move out they have abandoned their spouse and their house, and they will lose some of their legal rights. In NC, moving out is abandonment only if you don't have a good reason. If your spouse insists that you move out, you have not abandoned her.

In some relationships, when wife wants a separation and husband doesn't the possibility of a domestic violence complaint becomes significant. The quickest way to lose many of your important legal rights is for a court to find you are a domestic violence abuser. You are far better off to move out now than to wind up with a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) entered against you.

The most important question is not whether you want to move - it's do you want to separate? If she wants to split up and you don't, your best call is to a counselor, therapist, minister, etc.. If both of you agree that it is time to part company, chances are pretty good that a year from now neither one of you will be living in the house. In the big picture, you likely won't lose much by being the first to go.

Your question is pretty broad. You did not mention possible issues regarding children, alimony or property distribution. You will get better advice if you consult with a local attorney who will talk with you about your circumstances in greater detail.

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When a woman wants to separate it usually means she is involved with someone else. She is wanting space to pursue this other relationship. The worst thing you can do is kiss her ass. She will view you as weak and unattractive. If she wants to separate have her move out. You need to show a strong image. It's very common that after you have separated that she will sit in limbo and not make a decision about what she wants. Do not play this game. Instead insist upon counseling and if she resists let her know in no uncertain terms that you need to move on with your life. You then have to take action for yourself to move on. This is very difficult as I went through it with my marriage. The behavior pattern for women who go though this is very common. She will be torn about what she should do. The sad fact is that if she has said she wants to separate she already is prepared to move on with her life without you. This hits almost all men very hard as they do not see any of this coming.

Jeffrey William Gillette

Jeffrey William Gillette


Everyone has a right to his/her own opinions. Clearly I do NOT agree with the anonymous comment above. The best advice I can give is to consult with a licensed attorney who can sort through your specific circumstances and help you formulate the most appropriate response. -- Jeff



Agreed Jeffrey, but what if there its a kid involved, what if the husband loves that kid, what if the husband its from a different country/culture, what if the husband seeing this as a hormonal behavior of the wife, loves her but he just docent have the necessary tools to keep her honest?

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