Board Certified
Family Law Specialists
Serving Northern California

Getting divorced? Don’t move out of the family home just yet

| Sep 8, 2020 | Child Custody And Visitation |

When it becomes clear that getting divorced is the only real option you have left (other than staying in an unhappy marriage), you may be more than ready to get away from your spouse. If tensions are high, moving out of the family home may seem like the right thing to do.

Except that it may not be the best thing for you. In the long run, leaving the family home too early into your divorce scenario can be detrimental in several ways:

It can be hard to afford

You can’t simply cut off the flow of money to your spouse, children and the marital household’s bills without just cause. If you do that, you could be accused of marital abandonment. That could negatively affect the way that the court views everything about your divorce case, including how property is later divided. With two households to finance, you may struggle with your finances unnecessarily.

You can lose access to the home

Once the divorce is filed, automatic stays go into place that generally prevent anybody from taking anything from the marital home or intruding on each other’s space. If your spouse files for divorce right after you leave the home, you may no longer have access to anything inside it.

It could damage your custody claim

If you have children, leaving the home generally means leaving them behind. That automatically limits your visitation — especially once temporary orders are in place. If you’re seeking equal custody, it may be much harder to convince the court that you’re qualified to be a primary caregiver for your children when you haven’t been around for months.

What can you do if you really want to move out? Talk to an experienced attorney. When you’re approaching a divorce, that’s the best way to align your actions with your goals.