Photo of Nathalie E. A. Paluch and Peter A. Lauzon

4 things to consider before you move out of your marital home

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2020 | Divorce |


Negotiating the details of a divorce is likely to be stressful, but certain factors can make it even more difficult than necessary. Any disputes regarding the residence of each partner may cause discord and contention, but your living situation should be afforded careful thought before any major decisions are made. While moving out may seem like the best option, there are several potential consequences you might not expect. Consider the following four things that could happen if you move out.

Your custody case may be affected

If you and your ex have children, leaving the home prior to establishing a custody agreement can put the power in your ex’s hands. If you leave and want custody of your children, it is far more difficult to try to get them to visit your new home than it would be to negotiate a custody agreement while you are under the same roof. This is one reason divorcing couples may opt to continue living together.

Your finances will change

Moving out impacts many facets of your life, but perhaps the most obvious is the change it will inflict on your finances. Paying for rent and a deposit as well as taking full responsibility for bills is likely to create some financial stress that was not there before. Whether you are worried about money or not, you should consider the possibility that spending money on a new home is not a good investment.

You may lose property rights

If your name is on the lease or mortgage agreement, you have full rights to the property in question regardless of any divorce proceedings. Despite your rights, though, it is understandably difficult to maintain control over a property you are not living in. Your ex may change the locks or otherwise make the home inaccessible.

You may be accused of abandonment

According to the State of California’s Department of Justice, abandonment is not a valid cause for divorce. This differs from many other states wherein it may be a legal action to be considered in divorce proceedings, but this does not mean that it cannot be used against you. Even if both parties agree to have one partner move out, your ex may position this as your abandonment and attempt to gain sympathy and direct contempt towards you.

Negotiating living situations in the midst of a divorce is difficult. If you are wondering about your legal rights, talking to an attorney can help you understand your options.