Can I move out during a divorce? 36 Answers as of July 10, 2013

My wife and I have tried to reconcile our marriage several times but to no avail. We have 4 children, we own a home, and we have been married for 21 years. My wife is telling me I should get an apartment while she stays in the house with the kids for a year or so till they get adjusted. Does me moving out have any negative bearing for me in the divorce if I keep in contact and visit the children?

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
It may have a negative impact. If you move, you definitely need to maintain regular and consistent contact with your children.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
Other than the financial issues of maintaining two households, you can move out.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/26/2011
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
If the divorce is filed - there may be orders prohibiting changing/incurring expenses without a written agreement and/or permission of the court. Consult with the competent attorneys handling the case for the best method to effect this move.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 7/26/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
This can have many implications for you as you go through the divorce - both financially and regarding time with your children. You should seek legal advice regarding this before agreeing to move out.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 7/26/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Who moves out firsthas no legal effect on anything that needs to be decided inendinga marriage. Depending on a number of factors and what the ultimate disposition of the house is, the person who leaves may lose some tax advantages in the long run, but for most people that is not a significant basis to fight over who lives in the house until things are worked out. You need to concentrate on the practical realities that two households are going to cost more than one, that kids are going to be adversely affected no matter what (so staying put for a while might make it easier for them), and that it may not be financially possible for either of you to keep the house in the long run.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/23/2011
    Law Office of William R Fuhrman
    Law Office of William R Fuhrman | William R Fuhrman
    This responds to the question you asked on Law QA. Below is my contact information and website address which contains other useful information. The Court would only order you or your spouse to live in a separate residence IF the potentially moving spouse had injured or threatened to injure the other spouse or the children. Absent that kind of situation, it is purely voluntary if you elect to move. The benefit of living separately is the reduction of tension in the home. The detriment is the increased cost of supporting two households; although will eventually be the case, it often is beneficial to delay doing so to [1] prepare for the increased cost, [2] slowly transition to a 2-household arrangement, and [3] get the children accustomed to it coming. If you intend to move to other lodging, you should insure that you and your spouse have an agreement regarding child sharing, custody and visitation before you move. In that regard, you should try to secure lodging in which the children can stay overnight with you, so as to increase your child sharing time. This is important for two reasons. First, it benefits your children to maximize their time with each parent and retain a bonded quality relationship with each ... which includes the various experiences of meals, bathing, preparing for bedtime, getting ready for school, recreation, etcetera. Second, one of the three factors upon which child support will be based is the percentage of time each parent has custody and care of the children. Unless, you have the children overnights, your percentage will be low and you will be ordered to pay more child support. The other two factors are your income from all sources and your spouse's income from all sources. Another consideration is whether one of you wants now or in the future to "buyout" the other's interest in the house as part of the division of assets and debts. If you both want to buyout the other, the party living in the house may have an advantage if the issue is presented to a judge to decide. There may be other considerations unique to your circumstances. Therefore, it is important that you consult an experienced family law attorney before you make any key decisions, including moving from the community home or signing a child sharing agreement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    There is nothing that stops you from moving out. However, if you want to keep the house and/or want primary care for the children, you shouldn't leave. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney regarding your potential rights and options before taking any actions or making any decisions.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If you move out, youwill lose the daily interaction and the frequent and continuing contact with your children that you had when you saw them at home every day. That could affect your ability to get substantial Child Custody rights at the OSC and Trial levels. Not moving out during the divorce might avoid an OSC for Child Custody and Child Support. You would have much greater exposure to an earlier and greater Child Support order if you move out, since Child Support is based on the percentage of your custodial timeshare, your income, and your wife's income. There is no legal requirement for you to move out - just keep the peace and stay out of each other's way - sleep indifferent bedrooms, don't threaten each other, and don't commit domestic violence. Moving out would result in increased costs of livingbecause of the need to support two separatehousholds- and you could be stuck with all or the majority of the costs of your wife's household, especially if your wife doesn't pay the mortgage or real property taxes. Also, moving out would result in your loss of control of your house - in terms of ensuring that it is appropriately maintained and repaired, facilitating sale of the house if that is appropriate in the division of community assets, and ensuring that the mortgage and real property taxes are paid. If you can work out peaceful co-existence in the family home, you may be able to avoid those risks.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Yes, but it usually happens. One, it will cost more forall of you to live. Two,your time with the children will probably be less than ifyou lived with them.I don't know what kind of parenting arrangement you want, but you should learn what the court will consider regarding "custody."
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    If you are conceding that your wife should have primary legal and physical custody of the children, your move will not negatively affect you in the divorce. I recommend that before you move out, you and your wife should agree in writing on all custody and parenting time terms.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    No it will not, especially if you continue to care for the children as if you were still inside of the house. It shows that you tried all you could to transition the children as best as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    Moving out of the marital home will not affect your claim to an equitable portion of the home, but could easily be used against you if you planned on fighting for custody.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Do not move out or do anything else until you talk to a divorce attorney and get some advice.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    no but you should also contribute financially .
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Elmbrook Law Offices
    Elmbrook Law Offices | Gregory Straub
    Moving out of the house will not have an impact on the progress of your divorce. You will face additional expenses associated with a second household but the negotations surrounding your Marital Settlement Agreement will dictate the future of your placement, custody and support issues.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    It depends, do you want primary or equal placement, then you don't want to move out without that schedule in place or mediation scheduled or a GAL appointed. Kids usually don't need a year to get used to things. Also for the first two years it is almost impossible to change the schedule after that there must be a substantial change in circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you first consult with a divorce attorney near you concerning your rights and options, and concerning the potential impact of a decision like this one. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes, Moving out of the marital home may impact issues related to custody of the children where the marital home is viewed as the point of stability for the children. You should consult with legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    No, moving out of the home will not impact you in a divorce. You would probably want to come up with an agreement in regards to your custody and visitation of the children prior to the date that you move out of your home.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, the primary effects of moving out and leaving her and the kids in the house would be to lower the odds that you could be awarded the primary residential care of the children (the court is likely to keep the children with the parent they are living with), and lowering the odds that that you could be awarded the house (the court is more likely to award the house to the party who is living in it, and give the other party other property as an offset). If neither of those are important to you, then there should not be a reason for you not to move out. However, you may want to consult with an attorney in your area before you actually move out.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    It does not have a negative impact on your divorce, but it may have a negative impact on the property division if you want the home. Remember to be exercising parent time.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Nothing precludes you from being able to move. Possession of the house does not give your wife a greater value in the overall division. If she stays in the home,she should be responsible for the mortgage ,standard utilities, property taxes. If you make more money than she does, she will be asking for some kind of support. It would be a good idea to get a written agreement with your wife on these issues as well as your children's timeshare before moving out. The very best solution is to hire an attorney to help you get a court order so you have a clear plan that is enforceable by the judge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Rosenberg & Press, LLC
    Rosenberg & Press, LLC | Christopher D. Hite
    Absent a court order, you do not have to move out. If everyone can get along under one roof while dissolution is pending, you greatly benefit financially. With a 21 year marriage and 4 kids in Connecticut, you are going to get raked over the goals financially. Talk to a divorce attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    Moving out can have some negative consequences. There is a concession that somehow, she is going to have custody and you are the "visiting parent." There are lots of implications: her rules apply, she gets to make unilateral decisions, she can do things without your consent or knowledge. If she decides the oldest can pierce HIS ears or get bolts to pierce his rosy cheeks, you're out of luck. So before making implications by implied consentbefore you move out and appear to abandon your parental status and duties, get an agreement with her in writing. Get a lawyer to secretly compose one for you to give her that is simple, straightforward and insures your daughters don't get Tattoos in places everyone will eventually regret.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Not really, unless you wish to later argue that you should have termporary exclusive possession, in which case you would have to come up with a reason why youi should move in and she should move out.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    No. Moving out will not have any negative impact on you in the divorce so long as you maintain your relationship with the children as best as you can. However, this can often be difficult during a time when the two parents tend to be on very bad terms with each other. Thus, I would suggest that you or your attorney file a Motion for Temporary Orders so that custody and visitation can be addressed early on in the divorce proceedings rather than waiting 6 to 8 months (or longer) for a final hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    It wouldn't affect your rights to any property division. However, you should seek the advice of a family lawyer regarding setting any precedent regarding the payment of bills or spousal support and a visitation schedule. You should also know that you would need to support the children financially and should seek advice on the amount of child support you should pay according to the Georgia guidelines. Also, you do not need to leave the house just because your wife asks you to.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Moving out may affect who gets the home, and may impact custody. Discuss the move with a lawyer before making it to see how much or little it could impact your case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/10/2013
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    You should discuss your goals with a lawyer before moving out as it could have adverse consequences in some cases
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    You moving out of the house can have a significant bearing on the future of your divorce action. First of all one major issue is what will be the official "date of separation". Very often when one spouse moves to another location that is the strongest evidence of the date of separation. Date of separation can impact many financial issues related to the dissolution. Second, when one spouse moves out, that often can mean that the spouse that remains will have a "leg up" in remaining in the house longer term. I would not move out until you have sat down and gone over all of the issues in your divorce with an experienced family law attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If you will not later request to be the primary custodial parent, with wife having visitation rights, then no. it would be best to consult with a local lawyer to get a more comprehensive explanation depending on various possible scenarios and what you want in terms of a long term parenting plan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Xochitl Anita Quezada
    Law Office of Xochitl Anita Quezada | Xochitl Anita Quezada
    It is probably a good idea for one of you to move out given that you agreed to divorce. You and your wife should work out some sort of visitation plan in the meantime. If you move close by, then perhaps you can agree to shared custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Today. Now. Run to your nearest domestic relations attorney and ask him/her this question. You need more advice than I can provide in this small space and you need it quickly.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/22/2011
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