Living with a spouse you no longer want to involve yourself with can be uncomfortable. Many would choose to pack their bags to avoid any confrontation or to save themselves from emotional damage. However, before leaving the family home, it is important to consider how your decision may impact the outcome of your divorce.
Besides being an emotionally exhausting ordeal, divorce settlements can take a long time and become expensive. Take time to review your budget before you move out. In addition to paying rent and utilities in your new residence, the court may require you to contribute to the household expenses of your shared home, child support, or spousal support.
While remaining in the home does not guarantee that the court will award it to you, previous cases suggest that it may increase your chances. Moving out may weaken your claim to the home even if your name is on the title.
Child Custody Claim
Leaving home without a custody agreement or parenting plan could jeopardize your ability to claim child custody. The court may consider the parent who remains in the house as the de facto guardian and the other parent as not having the same earnest interest in the child.
In some cases, the new residence may not have sufficient space for the children, which can sway the court’s decision even more. Establishing a parenting plan or custody agreement before moving out is best. Otherwise, the court may impose costly child support orders and limit visitation.
Access to Paperwork
It is common for divorcing partners to deny their spouse access to important documents by destroying or hiding them. Paperwork may be the last thing on your mind during a divorce, but the court heavily relies on records such as bank statements, tax returns, and other financial documents. Spouses who have access to these documents can resolve their obligations and settle their divorce in a more timely manner.
Moving out without a plan can be financially devastating and cause you to spend more than you can afford. It may also negatively affect your claim to child custody, real estate, and other assets. Unless absolutely necessary, consider tolerating your partner for a while until you reach a settlement.