The decision to end a marriage is difficult enough. When you add the pressure
of sharing a home with someone you’re about to divorce, the situation
can become unmanageable. If you and your spouse are currently going through
a divorce and one of you is thinking about moving out, consider the following.
Moving Out Will Affect the Children and Possibly Your Child Custody
If children are involved, consider how moving out will affect them—both
now and long-term. Judges look for indications of repeated change when
determining custody. If they have reason to believe a child’s emotional
wellbeing has been negatively impacted throughout the divorce process,
they may be less inclined to favor the parent who no longer lives at the
child’s main place of residence. Why? Because they want the child
to have the most positive experience possible throughout the divorce.
Typically, judges favor stability for children and opt for the least amount
of disruption for children during the divorce process.
This is not to say you
shouldn’t move out. In fact, in some cases it’s a much better option for all
parties involved, especially the children. If you and your spouse can
no longer live under the same roof without fighting or otherwise affecting
your children’s peace of mind, moving out may be more beneficial
to their wellbeing. So long as you and your soon-to-be-ex can agree on
terms of a shared parenting schedule, and the agreement is established
in writing, the move can proceed without negative repercussions to you.
However, before you decide to move out, you should also consult with a
divorce attorney about all your options. There may be standing orders
in place if the divorce has been filed that may affect where you can move
and if you can take the children with you.
Moving Out Could Hurt Financially, Both Now and After the Divorce Is Final
Spouses who split a home mortgage or rental payment may find it difficult
to afford the monthly expenses of living on their own. Even if the higher-earning
spouse is the one to move out, living expenses can still leave you tight
on money. Very often, the higher earner will be expected to financially
contribute to his or her spouse. Prior to divorce, this could mean continuing
to pay (or at least contributing to) monthly bills and household expenses
while also paying for your own new living space. After divorce, this could
mean paying spousal support in addition to your own mortgage, rent, or
Moving Out Now May Mean Leaving Your Home Forever
While not always the case, you must be prepared for the possibility that
you won’t be returning to the home you and your family have shared
up to this point. If you and your spouse co-own the house, one or both
of you will have to leave it once the divorce is finalized. Leaving now
could make it difficult to return later, if for no other reason than logistics.
Also consider how leaving might impact your ability to collect your personal
belongings during the divorce process. Unless you take a complete inventory
of your assets, there’s a chance some of your things could get left
behind or lost in the shuffle.
Contact CokerLegal for Professional Attorney Advice
Moving out during your divorce won’t “make or break”
the case. However, it will most certainly affect the way the divorce is
handled and the impact it has on both you and the rest of your family.
If you’re contemplating a move, don’t hesitate to discuss
the matter with your lawyer. They will likely have a lot of insight on
the matter and can direct you accordingly.