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What to Consider When Deciding Whether to Move Out During Divorce

One of the most common questions we receive from clients during the divorce process is whether or not they should move out of the family home during the pendency of the matter.

This can be a difficult decision, both emotionally and tactically. Here are some of the issues you’ll want to consider.

  • Safety: What are you personally comfortable with? What makes you feel safe? People who have been victims of domestic violence should do whatever they can to get away from their spouse. You may be able to have a judge order the abusive spouse to move out. But leaving your home temporarily until that order can be enforced may be the best choice, and if your children are at risk you should seek a court order for temporary custody to take them with you.
  • Custody: Child custody is a big issue to consider in your living situation. If the children stay in the home during the divorce, the parent who remains behind with them could argue that changing that arrangement would be too disruptive, and that the parent who left “abandoned” them. However, if you create a written parenting agreement before you move out, you may be able to avoid this becoming a factor.
  • Finances: It can be difficult to move out if you don’t have the necessary finances to support yourself and your own home. It may make more sense for the higher-earning spouse to move out, but they will still be responsible for making many payments for household expenses, which could still leave them in a less desirable situation.

Ultimately the choice of whether or not you should move out will vary from situation to situation.  However, it is not advised that you move out of the home until you speak to an attorney as it may impact your case.  For more advice in your specific case, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP.