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What might happen if I move out during a divorce?

Continuing to live with your ex while divorcing is not always possible. For example, there could be so much tension between the two of you that it affects your children negatively, and you could feel smothered or unfairly treated. 

So, what happens if you decide to move out of the family home during a divorce? Often, it depends on what you do before moving out and on what your ex is inclined to do.

Being proactive

If you have been proactive before moving out, working out a custody plan and parenting arrangement, the impact of moving out and your access to the children may be minimal. Likewise if you have worked out an agreement on what will happen to the house and assets in it.

If nothing else, remember to collect financial documents and other important paperwork before you leave. Otherwise, you could lose access to such documents.

In other situations

In situations that do not involve prior planning, it could be that the consequences of you moving out will not be as dire as you imagined. For example, Florida law urges that both parents remain active and involved in their children's lives if possible. That said, if you moved out and the children remain in the home with their other parent, you potentially face a more difficult task than if you had stayed. It all depends on whether the other parent plans to contest the divorce and your parenting time, and if so, where the judge leans.

If you want to be the spouse who ends up with the house, moving out without a plan could hurt you. For instance, if both of you are financially able to maintain the house on your own and cannot agree on who gets it, a judge could award the house to the person currently there, especially if there are children living there as well.

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