When contemplating divorce or after a complaint for divorce has been filed, one or both parties always seems to make a costly mistake. One critical mistake is in moving out of the house too soon.

If there is abuse occurring, then the abusing party should be the one forced to move. You can do this by obtaining an order of protection that orders the other spouse to vacate. You will probably need to have documentation of the abuse from previous complaints to police, written evidence of comments made by your spouse or physical markings such as black eyes or bruises. If your spouse has physically abused you, consider making a police report and then discussing your situation with a divorce lawyer.


For other circumstances, however, you need to consider the consequences if you move out of your marital home. For most people, they should stay in the home until ordered to leave by the court.


Does Moving Out Affect Your Interest in the Home?


If you have a mortgage, then leaving the mortgage payments to your spouse could affect a court’s determination of how to equitably divide your assets.


What if There are School-Age Children in the home?

Do not leave the home if you wish to live with your children and have them complete school. If you leave and your spouse is the primary wage earner, you could lose considerable leverage later on if you want to return and have your spouse pay a portion of the mortgage. The only exception to this if there is evidence of abuse and you need to leave to protect your safety. Any documented history of abusive behavior by your spouse can be used by your divorce lawyer to get an order for your spouse to vacate.


Can I Move in With My Boyfriend or Girlfriend?

Although it may seem unfair, moving out is often viewed as abandoning your home and perhaps your children. Few judges will look favorably on a party who moves out to live with their new lover so inviting added scrutiny to the situation is rarely a good idea.


How Can I Stand to Stay in the Same House?

While remaining in the home is preferred and recommended unless ordered otherwise or you fear for your safety, it can be stressful for both of you and the children. You can discuss the situation with your spouse and agree that one of you have a part of the house as your own. It can be arranged for you to take the children out while your spouse is at home or that only one of you be at home at a time except for sleeping. If you are separating but not divorcing, you should have an attorney draft a separation agreement but have your own attorney review it so that everyone’s rights are protected and you fully understand the implications of moving out of your home.


Retain Lovenberg and Associates, P.C.

Doug Lovenberg is a Boston divorce lawyer who has handled domestic law cases for any issues or circumstances that arise before, during or after a divorce and can counsel you on what you can do, and what to avoid doing, so that you do not lose or jeopardize your hard earned assets or other rights. Contact him or his office today if you are thinking of filing for divorce or legal separation.