Coming to terms with the idea that you and your spouse are wanting, and/or needing, to end your marriage is never easy. When property and children are involved it makes the split more complicated and more stressful.
For many men, moving out as soon as possible is an attempt to minimize the stress and potential conflict that comes with divorce.
Unfortunately, this is one of the most common mistakes men make when faced with the dissolution of their marriage. Leaving the marital home without evaluating the consequences, or having a strategy in place, can create a significant disadvantage throughout the rest of the divorce process.
In no way should a man feel obligated to leave property if his name is on the title. The division of the marital home is often a significant piece of a divorce case and moving out too soon can create additional obstacles.
These obstacles include:
- establishing a financial precedent that may be unsustainable,
- eliminating access to important documents, and
- minimizing parenting time.
Being the first to move out can establish a “new normal” that can be difficult to overcome and significantly impact your relationship with your kids. It is imperative that you remain active and involved in the day-to-day details of their lives throughout the divorce. This active involvement is not only important for helping the kids adjust to the divorce, but will be a factor in any custody issues that may arise. Moving out without a parenting plan in place can limit your ability to spend time with your kids and can impact the court’s decisions regarding custody and support.
An often overlooked, but vitally important piece of divorce is the paperwork. Financial information like bank statements, credit card statements, and retirement accounts will all need to be submitted to the courts. Additionally, important documents like wills and insurance policies can be required for your divorce. Moving out of the home without obtaining these documents can add significant cost and time to the divorce process.
When it comes to divorce, moving out too soon can set a financially unsustainable precedent. The courts may assume that because two households have been created and supported, that the ongoing support of two households is reasonable. What often starts as a temporary solution (sleeping on a friends couch, or moving in with parents/family members) becomes the status quo.
Committing to moving out of the marital home, before you have evaluated the repercussions and created a strategy, can be detrimental to protecting your rights and assets. The tense atmosphere in the home can be overwhelming, but it is in your best interest to understand all the variables before deciding on a course of action. Attempt to make arrangements to stay in the home until you have spoken with an attorney and mapped out a plan for your divorce.