Divorce can be a taxing experience, and continuing to live under the same roof with the spouse you have fallen out with may seem unbearable. During these times of tumult, it is not unusual for one party to opt out of the family home either voluntarily or under duress.
While you may have compelling reasons to leave the marital home before the conclusion of the divorce, it is important to understand that doing so has consequences. There are a number of things you need to consider before packing your bags.
What moving out means for your child custody case
Walking out of the marital home can jeopardize your child custody claim. This is especially true if you leave minor kids behind without a written custody and visitation agreement with your soon-to-be-ex. Your spouse may argue abandonment or concession of primary custody to them, and may withhold access with the children. The court, too, may be inclined to believe you are not interested in living with your children. Both scenarios may not favor your custody case.
What moving out means for your finances
Moving out comes with additional expenses, which can be daunting if you have to continue paying marital bills. You might end up with double expenditure, resulting in financial hardship. As long as there is no abuse or threat of harm, staying in the marital home during the divorce process may make economic sense.
Voluntary vacation of the marital home may also prompt your soon-to-be-ex to petition the court to exclude you from the house. If this petition is granted, you may be barred from accessing the home while the divorce is underway.
Leaving the marital home before the conclusion of the divorce is one of the toughest decisions you might have to make. However, it is essential that you carefully weigh your options before leaving.