A house is often considered a couple’s most valuable asset. People become emotionally connected to their home, as well. For these reasons, spouses have to make tough decisions when deciding if they are going to move out when they are going through a divorce. In situations like this, it can be tough to resolve when neither spouse wants to leave. In most cases, the details of your situation will determine whether or not you should move out of your marital home.

Konicek Law offers representation for a broad spectrum of family law issues including divorce, modification of alimony and child support, determination of paternity, child support enforcement, department of revenue child support cases, domestic violence cases, enforcement and contempt actions, uncontested divorces, and prenuptial agreements.

Safety and Comfort

If there is domestic abuse in the home, it’s crucial for you to maintain your safety in the house. A parent can ask for a protective order from a judge to ask for the removal of the abusive spouse. Also, consider leaving home temporarily during this process to ensure the safety of you and your children.

If you decide to move out with your kids, then it’s important for you to obtain a court order for temporary custody as soon as possible. If you delay getting the court order, then you can potentially be accused of kidnapping your children. If you find yourself in an abusive situation, and you need to get out soon with your kids, it’s crucial you talk with an attorney.

Parents living together in the same house can lead to severe challenges for everyone in the household. Staying in a toxic environment can be especially hard on children when there’s a lot of conflict. Whenever you decide to move during a divorce, you HAVE to account for child custody and the property itself.

Child Custody

Majority of judges are aware that constant change is very hard for children. Therefore, they do everything they can to try and maintain the status quo whenever possible. If the children have remained with the family during the divorce, the parent who resides with the children in the house can argue that changing their living arrangement can be harmful and too disruptive.

On the contrary, parents who have moved out will object to being penalized for leaving when it was in the children’s best interest to reduce household conflict. Parents can avoid this hostility by creating a written agreement before the other parent moves out. Establishing a parenting schedule allows the other parent to still see their children without having to give any of their rights away and keeps the children out of a hostile environment.

Financial and Property Concerns

One of the most significant challenges spouses encounter during a divorce is making the income for the household stretch to take care of two. During stressful economic times, some spouses will continue to live together in the family home solely because they can’t afford to support a second household.

If the higher-earning spouse decides to move out, they have to be prepared to continue to pay the majority of the household expenses. These expenses include mortgage and insurance payments. This will lead to one parent living in a less than desirable situation. Depending on the big picture, the parent who chooses to stay in the home may have to give up money or their property division to make up for having to stay in the house.

The fact one spouse stays in the family home during separation doesn’t mean the spouse is likely to receive the house when the house is permanently divided. State laws require martial property in a divorce to be divided equally or “equitably.” When the property is divided like this, it means one spouse will be allowed to keep the house well the either spouse receives money or another comparable value.

The spouses should remember their personal property and furnishings they have in the home. The spouse moving out should make an inventory list of all their property and photograph all of their important documents. If there isn’t an agreement between the spouses on who should take which item, then the moving spouse should only take their personal belongings.

Other Options

There are short-term alternatives that can ease financial and parenting problems for couples that can be civil with each other. One option is for parents living in the home with children to alternate custody periods one week at a time. Sometimes this is referred to as “bird-nesting.”If the spouse’s resources allow them to rent a small apartment, this can also be an effective way to figure things out during the divorce process.

Parents often find this option works well for the children involved, while the parents rotate in and out. Naturally, this requires a high level of communication and trust between the parents. Another option is if the house is large enough, the house could be divided into separate areas with a plan to schedule out the communal areas.

In summary

Regardless of the situation, when going through a divorce, it’s crucial to have a plan set in place. Living with a soon to be ex-spouse can range from extremely awkward to unbearable and produce high amounts of anxiety. Being stuck in a highly stressful environment can take a heavy toll on your mental and physical health. It can also be psychologically harmful to your children. It’s essential to remember every situation is unique and you should always consult with an attorney before you make any final decisions.

Emily A. Konicek

Emily A. Konicek

Emily A. Konicek brings 14 years of experience to your family law concerns. Emily excels at mediation, negotiation and litigation, and can help you pursue a course of action that helps you meet your goals for the future and for your family.