If you are going through a separation or a divorce, you must 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, you must consider the following issues, in addition to consulting with an attorney.

Moving out could negatively affect your chances in any 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 the home itself. For example, if you move out and leave personal items of your own in the home, your spouse might damage them 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 to sufficiently divide the property’s value 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 home’s rent or mortgage, 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, they continue 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 you previously only used for one space. On top of legal fees, this can be a devastating financial blow that is completely avoidable if you find a way to continue living in the marital home while the divorce is underway.

During a divorce, the parties involved tend to make hasty and emotionally-based decisions. However, if you are going through a divorce, you need 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.

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