I live in Oregon. My wife has asked me for a separation pending divorce. We have three children between the ages of 7 and 11. I am a house husband, working from home and minding and caring for the children. My wife works full time away from the home and works long hours. She is demanding that I leave the home. I am the primary parent and my replacement will be daycare. Can she force this on me, and can she force me to leave the home.
The argument(s) that you have been the primary caregiver, that the alternative is daycare, and that a sudden change in schedule would be confusing to the kids are compelling. Here are a couple of suggestions on how to effectively use those arguments:
1. Get an attorney to represent you in the divorce.
2. Once someone files for divorce, you can seek something called a "status quo" order under which the court essentially orders that the residence, regular schooling, and daily schedule of the children for the past three months continues until trial or until the order is challenged. If you are the one responsible for daily child care and it has been this way form at least three months, then a status quo order would likely continue this arrangement.
3. You can also file for "temporary relief" or "pendente lite issues" after the divorce has been filed. Temporary issues could include: (1) temporary custody; (2) a temporary parenting time schedule; (3) temporary child (and maybe even spousal) support; (4) "suit money" for the divorce if the other spouse makes all the money and you need funds for the case; (5) temporary possession of the house; & (6) attorney fees.
Right now, the first thing you should do is consult with a family law attorney so they can go over the specifics of your case and provide less generalized advice.
My responses to posts on AVVO are not legal advice, nor do they create an attorney-client relationship. In order to provide true (and reliable) legal advice, an attorney must be able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather the appropriate information. In order for an attorney-client relationship to exist, you and I both have to agree the the terms of such an agreement.
I agree. I would add that so long as everyone is behaving themselves neither party can force the other party out of the family home before a final or general judgment is entered in your case. If what you say is correct, a court may find you and not your wife to be the person primarity responsible for the care of the children, which could impact who is awarded custody. I am not saying that you would be awarded custody, I am saying that this would be a factor that would be considered. You need to discuss these issues with an attorney and now. This is a very difficult situation. You need to get some help.
Do not leave the house. If there is no violence or threat thereof your wife can not make you leave the house. How about you ask her to leave since you are the primary caretaker of the children anyway? I suggest you contact an attorney immediately and make sure it is an attorney who will represent you and your father's rights zealously.
IF YOU FOUND THIS ANSWER HELPFUL PLEASE MARK IT SO. This information is provided by PEGGY M. RADDATZ, Attorney At Law as a pro bono service. YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY IN PERSON who has specific expertise in the area of law you are asking about.
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