If you are going through a separation or a divorce, it is very important that you recognize the importance of not moving out of the marital home too hastily. Moving out of your marital home during a divorce can bring about issues related to child custody, financial support, and property ownership. If you do wish to move out of the marital home you share with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it is very important that you consider the following issues, in addition to consulting with an attorney.
Moving out could negatively affect your chances in any sort of custody battle for your children. Judges are aware that repeated change can be difficult for children and will maintain the status quo whenever possible. If the children have remained in the family home during a divorce, the parent who lives there with them can argue that changing this arrangement will be too disruptive.
Other issues related to moving out could involve what happens to your personal property or to the home itself. For example, if you move out and leave personal items of your own in the home, your spouse might damage them in order to get revenge. Another concern relates to if the home will need to be sold. In some divorce cases, jointly purchased homes have to be sold in order to sufficiently divide the value of the property between the two parties involved. Moving out could prevent you from having a say over what happens to the house if it has to be sold.
Moving out could cause you to have financial problems, as the court might order you to pay towards the rent or mortgage of the home, even if you are not living there any longer. This is because in some states, the court can issue a status quo order. A status quo order requires that if a party moves out, he or she continues to pay the same bills as the party previously paid. This means that you might have to pay expenses toward two living spaces on the same amount of income which you were previously only using for one space. On top of legal fees, this can be a devastating financial blow that is completely avoidable if you just find a way to continue living in the marital home while the divorce is under way.
During a divorce, the parties involved have a tendency to make hasty and emotionally-based decisions. However, if you are going through a divorce, it is important for you to be aware of any potential negative consequences to the decisions you may be considering – especially if one of those decisions is related to moving out of the home you shared with your spouse. Before deciding to move out, make sure you consult with an attorney and review any information available to you. Deciding to wait to move out until your divorce is finalized could save you from having to deal with issues related to your children, finances, and property.
Divorces have many difficult aspects, which is why you need an experienced attorney on your side. Chad Foster is a trusted Washington lawyer serving Snohomish and King counties with an office in Bothell. Contact us today to discuss your legal issue.