Is moving out of the family home during a divorce a good idea?
Just the divorce itself can be one of the biggest expenses you will ever have and can drastically affect your finances for months or years to come. It is impossible to know how much everything is going to cost you during the divorce process. On top of these expenses, deciding to move out of the family home can potentially add an even bigger financial burden to you.
If you are the primary earner in your household and you decide to move out while the divorce is pending, the court may require you to continue covering your spouse’s living expenses. You could also be ordered to pay your spouse temporary spousal support so he/she can maintain the comfortable lifestyle he/she is used to. That means you could potentially be doubling your living expenses by maintaining two households while the divorce is pending.
Continuing to live together in the same home after deciding to move forward with a divorce can be difficult for everyone, especially the children. When considering moving, issues of child custody and property will need to be discussed. Your decision to leave the marital home may limit your parenting time with your children. Absent court orders regarding parenting time, you will not be guaranteed time with your children as you would living under the same roof. Issues with temporary parenting time may arise, and this is an important consideration to keep in mind prior to leaving the marital home.
When you ultimately decide to leave the family home you likely will not immediately pack up all of your belongings to take with you. Absent an agreement otherwise, larger personal property items will need to remain in the home. You should be aware however that once you’re out, your access to the house may be limited. Therefore, before you leave, you should gather important documents, personal belongings, and other property with sentimental value.
If there is domestic violence in the home, you should do whatever you can to stay safe. Weighing the pros and cons of moving out may not be an option if domestic violence is present. Instead, you may want to go to court for a protective order and ask a judge to remove the abusive spouse from the home. Or, you may decide that you should leave the home instead. If you move out with your children you should obtain a court order for temporary custody as soon as possible, to avoid claims of kidnapping or parental alienation. If you’re in an abusive situation and need to leave your home with children, consult an attorney as well as the police as soon as possible to understand your options.
If you have questions about moving forward with divorce, contact our attorneys at Márquez Law for your free initial consultation.