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Can moving out of the family home affect your divorce outcome?

 Posted on August 01, 2020 in High Conflict Family Law

When spouses begin the divorce process, emotions typically run high, making it extremely difficult for both parties to share the same space. A contentious split may lead one spouse to move out of the family home to avoid confrontations.

However, from a strategic point of view, the spouse who leaves can be at a disadvantage in the divorce case, and that disparity can be even more significant if the other spouse remains in the home with their children.

Staying in the home has two important upsides

While moving out of the family home technically doesn’t mean you forfeit any legal rights, there are strategic and legal incentives for staying, such as:

  • Keeping the home: Judges typically look for answers that enhance stability, especially for children. If you want to keep the house, continuing to live there provides that stability. If you move out, it can end up working against you.
  • Parenting time: Many times, children stay in the family home throughout the divorce process. Parents who remain at home can spend the most amount of time possible with their kids. Those who move out will likely have visits dictated by a visitation schedule.

Other advantages of remaining in the home

In addition to spending time with your kids and participating in their daily lives, staying in the family home allows you to:

  • Monitor how your spouse interacts with the kids, so you can keep a log that details any problems or lack of parenting skills
  • Track your spouse's comings and goings
  • Keep tabs on spending by reviewing bank, credit card and other financial statements
  • Remain in a familiar environment where friends, family and neighbors can provide much-needed support

Remain on “the inside”

While every case is different, both parties have a right to remain in the family home during a divorce, unless one spouse behaves poorly by harassing the other or resorting to physical violence. Staying under the same roof can be uncomfortable, but many divorcing couples are able to manage it by living in separate bedrooms.

An experienced family law attorney here in Texas can help you navigate this sometimes tricky scenario by aggressively protecting your best interests. Your lawyer will help you maintain leverage for the best outcome so you can avoid being on the outside looking in.

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