Should I Move out of the Family Home During a Divorce?

It depends. Here’s a look at what to consider when it’s time to decide whether to stay in or move out of the family home during a divorce.

Your (and Your Children’s) Safety
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An experienced Scottsdale divorce attorney points out what to consider when deciding whether to stay in or move out of a marital home in divorce. Contact us for the best divorce representation.

If there is a domestic violence situation or some other type of abuse that is compromising you and/or your children’s safety, then leaving the home (even if just for a short period of time) may be necessary. During this time, you can get a protective order against an alleged abuser, having him or her ordered to move out of the home, after which time you can move back in.

If abuse or domestic violence is not an issue, however, but living with an ex during a divorce will be uncomfortable (if not outright unhealthy for children), then it’s advisable to:

  • Carefully consider the potential custody and financial implications of moving out
  • Consider whether an alternative – like living in separate areas of the home – is appropriate/possible
  • Consult with an experienced divorce lawyer ASAP for specific advice pertaining to your situation.
Custody Arrangements

In some cases, it’s possible for the parent who remains in the home taking care of the children to have some priority in being awarded the home in the divorce. The argument can be that minimizing the potential disruptions to the children’s lives is in their best interests, and having the parent who is in the home now with them will be the best way to do this.

Here, however, it’s important to note that moving out would not preclude a parent from getting custody of a child. In fact, what would be the best idea would be to:

  • Try to work out a parenting time agreement before either parent moves out of the home.
  • Agree that neither parent gives up his or her rights to custody by moving out (if a parenting time agreement cannot be reached before a move out is necessary).
Financial Reasons

As you consider whether to stay in the marital home, another thing to consider will be whether you want the home after the divorce or whether it would be preferable to get other assets (such as bank accounts, etc.) instead. The fact of the matter is that, if you and your ex cannot agree on how to “divide” up the marital home, the court will:

  • Step in to resolve the dispute
  • Make a decision based on what is “equitable.”

So, give some thought as to what you may need to give up in order to keep the home (or vice versa – what you could gain if you may be willing to walk away from the home).

The Bottom Line: Talk to a Lawyer First

When it comes to staying versus moving out of the marital home during divorce, the bottom line is that you should talk to an experienced divorce lawyer before doing anything. An attorney can review your situation and advise you regarding your best options for proceeding.

Scottsdale Divorce Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

Are you ready to proceed with a divorce? If so, you can rely on Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen Schoenau for honest answers, effective representation and the best possible outcomes to your case. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex divorce cases.

To learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.

From her offices based on Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.

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