If my wife kicks me out of the house can she say that I abandoned her?

02/08/2007 - Divorce - State: VA #521

Full Question:

If, upon asking my wife for divorce, she gets mad and kicks me out of the house, and I do pack up and live elsewhere, can she later say I abandoned her? Would I need some kind of written statement from her (not likely to be obtained, of course) that she wants me out of the house?

Answer:

All contested divorces require proof of grounds. If you are filing for divorce, you need to have your grounds before you file. Pending the final divorce you should not do anything to give your spouse any grounds for divorce because it can probably be used against you. In Virginia you can be living separate and apart under the same roof, but this is difficult to prove.

The grounds for a final divorce in Virginia are as follows:

1.Adultery.
2.Felony Conviction. (At least one year imprisonment)
3.Cruelty.
4.Desertion.
5.Voluntary Separation. Six months with a written agreement and no children, otherwise one year.

"Desertion," also referred to as "abandonment," occurs when one spouse breaks off marital cohabitation with the intent to remain apart permanently, without the consent and against the will of the other spouse.; As a general rule, the spouse who unjustifiably and without cause leaves the other and refuses to resume marital cohabitation is the one who is guilty of desertion; but a spouse may be justified in leaving the marital home, giving rise to grounds for divorce on the basis of constructive desertion by the spouse whose misconduct caused the separation. Furthermore, an offer or demand to return to the marital home may terminate the grounds for divorce on the basis of desertion.



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02/08/2007 - Category: Divorce - State: VA #521

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