Does he have to move out if we need to separate in order to divorce?

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2011

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Does he have to move out if we need to separate in order to divorce?

My husband and I are splitting up and are getting a divorce. To my understanding in order to do that, we have to be separated for 6-12 months. My husband is a very mentally, physically, and verbally abusive man. We fight, fuss, etc.and it is starting to affect my children. When we came to the conclusion together that we needed to go our separate ways, we agreed upon a lot of things. One, which I have in writing, was that he would continue to reside at our residence until next month. It also breaks down rent and move out date.

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Family Law, Virginia


Rhonda L. Patterson / The Patterson Law Office

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The short answer is not necessarily.

Divorce laws vary by state; however, typically a couple can be considered "separated" even if they still live under the same roof, so long as they do not engage in sexual relations and hold themselves out as separated, instead of married.  Some facts that could help is if the parties sleep in separate rooms, use separate doors to the home and do separate grocery shopping. 

I would recommend contacting an attorney familiar with your jurisdiction to discuss any nuances.


Rhonda L. Patterson

The Patterson Law Office

* My reply to your question does not create an attorney client relationship.  I recommend contacting a lawyer in your jurisdiction to discuss the specific facts of your case.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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