Can I Leave My Matrimonial Home Before The Divorce is Finalized?
We understand: divorces are tough, and once two people decide to part ways, things between them can become awkward and strained. To avoid any uncomfortable situations, one spouse will typically move out of the marital home before the divorce is finalized. While this might seem like a good way to spare each others feelings, moving out of the marital home while the divorce is pending could be disastrous to your post divorce plans, especially where they concern your children, your marital home, and your finances.
Consequences of Leaving Your Marital Home During the Divorce Process
Unfortunately, leaving the marital home during the divorce process can present problems when you try to gain certain rights post divorce. Before you decide to pack up and leave for good, consider how your early move will affect the following:
- The amount of custody you will receive: Unfortunately, a parent that decides to leave the marital home early essentially forfeits custodial parenting rights. If you decide to leave your home and your children before the divorce is finalized, you are basically telling the judge that a) you feel the other parent is competent enough to care for your children without you and b) that you were willing to leave your children. You will receive some custody rights, but likely not as much as you would have had you stuck it out in your marital home. Furthermore, the courts prefer to keep children in the marital home if possible, and are more likely to grant temporary custody to the parent who remains in the home throughout the divorce.
- Who will get the marital home: Once you move out – even if the divorce is still pending – your spouse can file an immediate motion for temporary exclusive possession of your marital home. If the court grants this motion, you will be denied access to your home until the divorce is finalized.
- How your former spouse will treat your belongings: If your spouse gains temporary possession of your home, they subsequently gain temporary control of all of the possessions that you left in it. If you leave the marital home before the divorce is finalized, you want to either make sure that you take everything with you, or that your former spouse is trustworthy enough to not break, sell, or destroy any of the property that you leave behind. Furthermore, by leaving the marital home early, you are giving your former spouse full control over the real estate process, which they can sabotage or delay at their leisure.
- Your finances: Last but not least, leaving the marital home early can be extremely strenuous on you financially. Oftentimes, the courts will enter temporary orders requiring you to pay spousal support and child support while the divorce is pending. They may even require you to continue making mortgage payments. On top of all that, if you rent a temporary residence throughout the rest of the divorce, you could find yourself making payments on two households.
Consult a Boca Raton Divorce Attorney
At the Law Offices of Schwartz | White, our family law attorneys know that divorces can be difficult and emotional, and that your first instinct may be to separate yourself from the situation as much as possible. However, moving out of your marital home to escape the tension may end up causing more unnecessary turmoil in your life than had you stayed. Unfortunately, the best thing you can do for your future, post divorce, is to tough it out in the marital home until the very end of the divorce process.
If, however, you feel an immediate need to leave the matrimonial home mid-divorce, consult with a Boca Raton divorce lawyer before doing so. Call 561.391.9943 or contact us online today.