If you are going through a divorce, your first concern is naturally your children and their ongoing happiness and well-being. Divorce is never easy, and even in the best circumstances, things are likely to be stressful at home. You may be inclined to move out of your family home during the pendency of your divorce in an effort to help keep the peace and to reduce tension at home. Moving out of your home during a divorce, however, is not likely to be in you and your children’s best interests.
While moving out of your home during a divorce generally is not a great idea, there is one significant caveat. If you fear for your safety – and/or for the safety of your children – you should do whatever it takes to keep yourselves safe.
Moving Out of Your Family Home
If you move out of your family home while you are divorcing, you establish a new normal, and this is that your spouse and your children live together in your family home while you live elsewhere. In an effort to keep your children’s lives as stable as possible, the court tends to want to maintain the status quo. Ultimately, moving out during your divorce can negatively affect your ability to move back in after your divorce, and this can obviously also diminish your chances of obtaining primary custody of your children.
The Division of Marital Property
Many people are under the misguided belief that moving out of the family home during divorce will negatively affect the division of their marital property. This, however, is not likely to be the case. If your home is marital property, it remains so until your marital property is divided in a manner that is just and right in the divorce process. It is possible, however, that the court – in its considerable discretion – will opt to allow your divorcing spouse to remain in your marital home with your shared children upon divorce.
The Determination of Child Custody Arrangements
The primary reason why you probably should not move out of your family home during the course of your divorce is that it can negatively affect your child custody arrangements, including:
- The court may interpret your move as an indication that you are less interested in living with your children than your divorcing spouse is.
- If your goal is to have primary custody of your children, moving out of your family home could work directly against you.
- Moving out of the family home could also negatively affect your visitation schedule with your children.