When divorce is in the wind, one of the parties – usually the husband – often moves out of the marital home. This is frequently done in a huff without the benefit of reasonable thinking. If you are one of those who are considering leaving the family confines, a calm examination of the consequences might have you moving down the hall to the guest room instead.
Moving out is not your obligation
You may think that volunteering to move out is the right thing to do, no matter who asked for the divorce. Men especially feel it is simply their obligation to do so. However, if you leave of your own accord, others may view it as abandoning your family. Furthermore, if your name is on the mortgage or lease, you are under no obligation to leave the marital home, and a voluntary move might adversely impact how much time the court decides you can spend with your children.
Staying at home
Unless the relationship between you and your spouse is so hostile, the home environment so charged with anger that staying would truly be detrimental to the children, your best move will probably be to work out a living arrangement satisfactory to you both until the divorce is final. If you remain on the premises, you can work out a plan that limits interaction with your spouse but still allows you normal parental privileges.
The impact on childless couples
You may not have children to think about, but if you should move into a place of your own while the divorce is pending, the court may require you to pay the living expenses of your spouse. A status quo order may go into effect, whereby if you have been paying for expenses such as groceries, utility bills and the mortgage on the marital home, the court will order you to continue while the divorce is in process. Obviously, if you leave to find a place of your own, you may end up having to pay for two residences and two sets of living expenses.
Find the answers
Divorce is a heart-wrenching experience for everyone concerned, and it is wise not to make hasty decisions, such as whether to move out of the marital home. Remember that you can bring your questions and concerns to a family law attorney experienced with helping people just like you find the best ways to weather a divorce.