My wife is threatening me with abandonment if I move out of the house, can she do this even if I am paying child support and daycare?

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My wife is threatening me with abandonment if I move out of the house, can she do this even if I am paying child support and daycare?

My wife asked for a divorce. She wants the house in the divorce. I want to move out. I told her I will go ahead and pay child support (agreed amount) and the daycare. She is threatening me with abandonment because she wants me to pay the house note. Will I hurt my case if I move out?

Asked on February 23, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It's not called abandonment in Texas-- just a separation.  I'm not sure how she is threatening you with "abandonment", especially when you are continuing to provide support for the children.  It only takes a couple of weeks to file and obtain temporary orders in a divorce decree.  Based on what you described, you would probably be better off filing for divorce and then having temporary orders entered which grant her exclusive use (and preferrably responsibility) for the house, order you to pay child support through the Attorney General's Office, and sets a base amount of child support.  It is a great gesture that you are offering to pay child support and daycare expenses... but make sure that you maintain documentation that these are payments for support.  Some courts will consider these "gifts" and still order formal "back child support," even though that was your intent all along.  You should also arrange for at least a consultation with a couple of family law attorneys so that they can ask you more specialized questions that may iimprove your options during the divorce.  It sounds like your wife is just trying to bully the situation, and you need a team that will help you even the odds.


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