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Moving Out During Divorce Can Be a Critical Mistake

It happens far too often. The spouse who initiates the divorce feels compelled to be the one to leave the home. Or the spouse initiating divorce tells the other to move out, and the other stunned spouse bemusedly complies. There are many, many reasons while moving out of the house of your own free will can put so much at risk in a divorce.

The Effect on Child Custody and Support

In a child custody hearing, it will probably count against you if you packed your bags and checked out on your own. The other parent could portray this as abandonment. You need to show a family court that you deeply care about your kids; leaving them freely will not look justified in the eyes of a judge.

Is your name on the lease or mortgage? Even if you agree that you don't want your children to see you fighting, or even if you are threatened with calls to the police, you have every right to stay in the house. Otherwise, you and your children could find yourselves with an unfair child custody arrangement, and you could be saddled with steeper child support payments.

The Effect on Spousal Maintenance

If you have a higher income than your spouse, and you move out into a new apartment during the divorce, the court might set up a temporary order that requires you to pay for everything you did before the separation. So this means that if you paid the mortgage, utilities, and car loan before you separated, you would have to keep up these payments. You may also be told to pay temporary alimony to support your spouse during the divorce. And once these orders are in place, a court might see no reason to change something that appears to work. No matter how stretched thin you are, you might be told to keep up the extensive spousal support.

The Dangers of Incomplete Financial Disclosure in Your Divorce

If you leave the house and make the common slipup of not taking important financial documents with you, you may not be able to find them all later. Not only might your spouse bar access to the house from then on, but certain papers might never see the light of day, even if you do go through the legal process of discovery to track down missing records.

While moving out might ease problems in the short term, you could feel the consequences of the ill-advised choice to leave the house for years to come. If you want to leave the marital home before your divorce is finalized, you need to speak to a divorce attorney of what the repercussions could be in your case, and whether creating a written agreement before separating might protect your rights in the divorce. Call the Meyers Law Group, P.C. today to speak to an experienced divorce lawyer in Long Island.