What constitutes abandoning the marital residence?

My wife and I are separated; I left the home due to my safety concerns. She stated she would pay the mortgage and wanted the homeI found an apartment and now I want to return to the home and get the rest of my things. She has locked the doors with additional security measures, other then locks and won’t let me back in. She says I abandoned the home and now have to pay 1/2 of everything – mortgage, utilities, property taxes, etc. Is she right?

Asked on June 26, 2012 under Family Law, Wisconsin


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the law, the term "abandonment" means that the person who is claimed to have abandoned an item has no intent to return to retrieve the item and no longer wishes to retain an ownership or a possessory interest in it.

From what you have written, the claim that your spouse states you are responsible for one half of the home's debt load in and of itself is evidence that you did not abandon the unit. If you had, she would claim you owe nothing in the future with respect to it.

Your spouse is incorrect with respect to her assertions against you with respect to your home that you did not abandon.

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