When a wife and husband no longer want to be married, it can be assumed that they no longer want to live together. However, the economic reality is that maintaining two households is substantially more burdensome than maintaining one. In many instances, separated couples remain living together, against the will of one of the parties. That is to say, one spouse (or both) wants to stay in the house, and get the other spouse to move out. But the “unwelcome” spouse stands their ground, and refuses to move out.
Neither party can exclude the other from the house without a court order. If the issue comes before the family court, the judge is likely to work out an arrangement whereby the couple is not living together. The family court judge will want to avoid the potential that the couple’s “peaceful coexistence” will deteriorate into something less peaceful, particularly if children are involved.
But the court will also balance the interests of safety and diffusing tension against the economic considerations. Those considerations include avoiding the burden of maintaining two households, if at all possible, particularly if the house must be sold. In many cases, long-term necessity requires selling the marital home so that both spouses can downgrade to something more affordable.