ASK THE ATTORNEY: Can moving out before a divorce cause problems? – The Saratogian

Divorce attorney

Depending on your living situation, children, and the conditions of a divorce, you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse may consider moving out of the shared home before the divorce is finalized.

Leaving the house might seem like the best thing to do to avoid any further discord, but can moving out before a divorce cause problems?

How Moving Out During a Divorce Impacts You

Many married couples own their home, and in most cases, it is their largest asset. If one partner moves out of the house before a divorce is finalized, it could lead to complications in how the court handling your divorce views the division of property, child custody, court-ordered support payments, and more.

Divorce is final, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of moving out before you decide to take that critical step.

How It Impacts Your Child Custody Claim

Not only will it reduce parenting time with your children, but moving out may affect your child custody claim. If the children continue to spend most or all of their time in the family home, or if the partner who moved out is unable to provide adequate accommodations for the child, then the court may give greater weight to the custody claim of the partner who stayed in the marital residence.

If there is not an equal division of custody between both parents or if the parents do not agree on a temporary parenting plan for the duration of the divorce proceedings, it can lead to expensive custody and child support litigation.

How It Impacts Your Finances & Property Division

The home is generally considered a marital asset subject to equitable distribution, and its value will usually be divided equally along with any other marital assets. It’s still possible that leaving the marital residence can affect equitable distribution, but every case is different, and there are a number of other factors the court can consider.

In New York State, if a partner leaves the marital home without an agreement in place, the court can issue an order requiring the partner who left the marital home to contribute to household expenses, including the mortgage on the residence. This could lead to a very difficult financial situation for the partner who moved out prematurely, as they will now have two sets of bills to pay for.

How It Impacts Your Access To Paperwork

Many divorces can be incredibly contentious, and it isn’t unheard of for one partner to deny access to, damage, or destroy the other partner’s possessions or important documents. Besides, when going through an emotionally fraught divorce, paperwork might be the last thing you think about. Remember, however, that divorces rely on all types of records, including:

• Bank statements;

• Insurance policies;

• Credit …….


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