Divorce: Should I Leave The Marital Home?
Often, divorce is a last-resort. By the time you come to the crossroads of deciding whether to dissolve your marriage, you have likely shouldered many a straw that should have broken the camel’s back. In the course of your marriage, you have likely dedicated years of your life, attention, efforts, and emotions into another person and into building your marital home/environment. You have co-mingled thousands of dollars, brought in pets and children and bitten your tongue one too many times at your in-law’s yearly holiday party. You have truly invested into your relationship. Accordingly, when it comes time for that relationship to be well and truly over, it may be all you can do to keep yourself from packing a to-go bag and moving out of the shared home immediately.
However tempting it may be to flee the negativity in your marital home, you are likely better served, legally, by staying put. This is all subjective, of course, and every situation is different. Your safety and well-being, and the safety and well-being of any child, are of paramount importance. It may be that protecting those interests means leaving the marital home. However, generally speaking, moving out of the shared home can result in unintended consequences for the person who moves out. Below, we will give a general outline of issues to bear in mind if this is the path you choose.
Impacts on Child Custody
You may think that by moving out you are better serving the interests of your family – the kids will be around less fighting, there will be less stress and tension, this can only be good, right? While this could be true, it is also true that if you move out of the marital home you will likely not be seeing your children as much. While this may feel temporary to you, down the road a judge may feel that the children’s best interests are served by stability and keeping the arrangement – which you thought of as temporary – as the new permanent solution.
One way to mitigate the above is to execute a parenting plan before you move out of the home, an option that one of our attorneys is happy to go over with you.
Impacts on Finances
Moving out of the marital home will take a toll on your finances. The family finances will now be covering for the rent and maintenance of two households instead of one. You may also be called upon to continue paying bills and providing support for the care and maintenance of the marital home that you were not expecting. While you may just want to escape the current confines of the marital home, a court will see that you took on a new rent payment and assume that you can afford to pay it and meet your other obligations, even if that is not really the case.
Protect Your Paperwork
Often, the decision to leave is done in haste – an emotional decision driven by circumstance and emotion rather than iron-clad logic. If you think you may soon be in the situation where you need to exit the marital home, remember to collect important documents. These are vital, not just for life in general, but for use in pursuing a divorce. Important documents include, but are not limited to marriage records, birth certificates, social security cards, passports, bank statements, etc.
Once you leave the marital home it may become much more difficult to access files you have left behind, though the aid and guidance of a competent attorney can be invaluable in such situations.
Call Fort, Holloway and Rogers
If you are facing the unfortunate reality of an impending divorce, call the experienced Franklin divorce attorneys at Fort, Holloway & Rogers. Our team of competent, dedicated attorneys can offer you the sound counsel and zealous representation you need to achieve the optimal solution in your divorce action. Call our office today for a consultation.