Last Updated On: May 17, 2024

Why Moving Out is the Biggest Mistake in a Divorce

For many couples who have decided on divorce, continuing to live together can bring out all the worst in both of you and belabor all the reasons you sought a divorce in the first place. Consequently, one spouse might choose to move out to make the breakup emotionally easier for all concerned. However, moving out of the family home prior to the divorce being finalized can potentially have very serious implications for the one who moves out. Divorce lawyer Juan Luciano explains why.

If you’re considering moving out during a divorce, it is crucial to seek legal advice to understand the potential consequences. At the Law Offices of Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer, our New York City divorce lawyers are here to provide you with the guidance and support you need. Moving out before the divorce is finalized can have significant implications on various aspects of the divorce settlement, including the equitable distribution of your marital property. Contact us at (212) 537-5859 to schedule a confidential consultation and ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process.

Why You Shouldn’t Move Out If You Are in the Middle of a Divorce

From a legal standpoint, moving out of the family home is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when you are in the middle of a divorce. This is because, in the eyes of the law, the spouse that moves out may be considered “abandoning” the family in a contested divorce. Even if the divorce begins as a friendly one, if it becomes contentious, the other spouse may use this against you in multiple different ways.

Moving out of the marital home during a divorce can set up many precedents in a divorce, including distribution of property, child custody, and spousal support. Before you move out, speak with an experienced Bronx divorce attorney to understand the potential ways that it can harm you.

Child Custody

One of the primary ways that moving out of the marital home can work against you is custody of the children and parenting time.

Moving out prior to the divorce finalization means you are now spending less time with your children than if you stayed in the home. If the divorce goes before a judge, the judge may assume that your children aren’t a priority. Most judges are reluctant to change a child’s schedule, living situation, and parenting time. Establishing less contact with your children before the divorce is final can impact custody or even visitation rights.

You will also want to consider your living arrangements if you move out. A judge deciding custody and visitation matters will want to see that you are keeping your children in mind and providing them a safe and clean place to come to. If you want to remain in your children’s lives, choosing a comfortable and home-like place to live in close proximity to their school, friends, and activities is an important consideration.

The Financial Implications of Moving Out

Moving out of the marital home can also set some negative financial precedents that may impact you when you go before the court. The costs of maintaining two households can be staggering in New York City. In most cases, you are still responsible for covering your share of the expenses of the marital home even if you are temporarily living elsewhere until the divorce can be finalized. Moving out of the home can be financially devastating to the spouse who chooses to leave.

The court may use this ability to maintain two households when it comes to awarding spousal support. If you are the primary breadwinner, the court may see your ability to maintain the upkeep of two households as financially viable and order you to continue paying that as temporary spousal support.

Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets

In New York, we have equitable distribution of marital assets when a couple is divorcing. But equitable does not mean equal. What is considered “equitable” in the eyes of the court is subject to many variables. In a contested divorce, a judge will determine what is equitable depending on what each spouse has contributed to the marriage and what each will need to move forward.

Some of the factors used in making this decision include the future financial circumstances of each spouse, who has primary custody of the children, and who will need the family home the most. By leaving the home, you may have already set the expectation that the other spouse will get the marital home in the distribution of assets.

Considerations Before Moving Out During Divorce Impact Details
Child Custody Less parenting time and custody/visitation impact Moving out before divorce finalization can reduce time with children, potentially affecting custody or visitation rights. Choose a safe, nearby residence to prioritize involvement in their lives.
Financial Implications Negative financial precedents and potential spousal support Leaving the marital home creates financial burdens, including shared expenses. Court considers ability to maintain two households, impacting spousal support.
Equitable Distribution Potential impact on asset division Moving out may establish the expectation of the other spouse receiving the marital home during asset distribution. The court considers contributions, future finances, and custody when determining equitable division.

Should We Live Separately When Going Through a Divorce?

When navigating a divorce in New York, one of the pivotal decisions you will face is whether to live separately. Here are some practical aspects to consider:

Financial Considerations: New York’s high cost of living means maintaining two households can be financially taxing. It’s crucial to evaluate your financial resources and determine whether you can realistically afford separate residences without compromising your economic security.

Emotional Well-being: Separation can offer the emotional space necessary for both parties to heal and reflect. It might reduce daily conflict and facilitate a smoother transition to post-divorce life. However, it’s important to be mindful of the potential for increased feelings of isolation, which can be especially pronounced in a bustling city like New York.

Children’s Stability: If children are involved, their well-being must be a top priority. Separate living arrangements can bring challenges, particularly in maintaining consistent routines. Careful co-parenting planning is essential to ensure that the children experience as little upheaval as possible during this time.

Living separately during a divorce in New York is a decision that hinges on personal circumstances, financial readiness, and the emotional health of all family members, including children. Such a step should be taken with careful planning and consideration of the broader impact on your family’s future.

Wife Moves Out Before Divorce

The marital home is typically considered a shared asset subject to equitable distribution, where its value is often divided equally along with other marital assets. However, the decision to leave the marital residence has the potential to affect the process of equitable distribution as well as other aspects of the divorce such as child custody and support. It is important to note that the impact of this decision can vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case. The court considers several factors when reaching its conclusions.

In New York State, if a partner chooses to leave the marital home without a prior agreement in place, the court has the authority to issue an order mandating that the departing partner contributes to household expenses, including mortgage payments. This situation can create significant financial challenges for the partner who moved out prematurely, as they are now responsible for two sets of bills to manage.

If a wife decides to move out before divorce proceedings, seeking the assistance of a New York divorce lawyer becomes crucial. At the Law Offices of Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer, our team of attorneys is experienced in providing essential guidance and representation in such cases. We are well-equipped to negotiate agreements that ensure the partner who moved out is not burdened with excessive financial responsibilities, such as contributing to household expenses and the mortgage. Schedule a consultation with us to discuss your specific situation and explore legal strategies that can safeguard your rights and interests.

While wanting to remove yourself from an unhappy setting as soon as possible is totally understandable, the decisions you make today can have a detrimental effect on your life for years to come. Before you make the decision to move from your home during a divorce, consult with an experienced Bronx divorce attorney to understand how it may or may not impact your particular situation.

At the law offices of Juan Luciano Divorce Attorney, our team of New York City divorce lawyers can help you make sense of it all and guide you in making the best decisions for your future. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

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