If my wife left me a year ago, what are my rights?

My wife asked me to move out a year ago. I refused, stating that I would not abandon my family. She then 2 months later moved out and has not made any substantial moves to either come back nor attend marital counseling. We both are not perfect, however, I want my marriage to work and I feel that I am trying it all myself. What are my rights to our 2 children and the properties that we jointly own?

Asked on March 16, 2012 under Family Law, Illinois


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation as it stands.  It is very difficult to try alone.  That being said, as a general rule you and your wife have equal rights to the property and the children.  In Illinois property is distributed unde rthe equitable distribution standard.  Equitable does not mean eual.  If she has not contributed to the obligations of the house, etc., in the two years you can ask for a set off for her portion.  I would strongly suggest seeking legal help at this point in time.  Good luck.

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