To Move or Not to Move?

One of the many decisions you must wrestle with during a break-up or divorce is whether to remain in the family home or move out. This is more complicated than it may appear at first. There are a number of considerations.

First – When was the home purchased? If the residence was purchased during the marriage it may be considered marital property. The laws are different depending on the state in which the property is located. The law used to be that if you moved out that could be considered “abandonment”, and you might be giving up your assets. However, many states have changed that law and now, even if you leave, half of the property assets are yours.

Second – If one of you moves out, it’s expensive.  You may now be paying on the primary residence and also another place for one of you to live. There needs to be an agreement on how these extra expenses will be handled, unless a judge orders one person to leave and specifies exclusive use of the residence to the other spouse.

Third – If money is not an issue, sometimes putting some distance between the two of you can be helpful. However, when one person is left in the home he/she may not be as anxious to settle and move on.

Fourth, and the most important, if there are children involved will it affect custody. According to attorney Judith L. Poller, it is certainly an important issue respect to custody of a child or children … ‘abandonment’ prior to a parenting plan agreement may indicate to a judge a lack of interest in the child.

I highly encourage you to consult a quality divorce attorney in your state before making any decisions regarding one party moving out.