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Should You Move Out of Your Marital Home During a Divorce?

Mar 13, 2022 | Divorce

There are many moving parts of a divorce, but while you are separating your finances and other assets, you may be tempted to also separate your living situation. Oftentimes, divorce is fraught with ongoing tension, and that tension can feel worse if you and your spouse are still sharing a roof. But is it a good idea to move out during a divorce in Houston, TX? You may need a divorce attorney for men in Sugar Land, TX to help you understand the pros and cons of moving out before your divorce is finalized.

Should You Move Out of Your Marital Home During a Divorce?

Many men want to move out to simply cut down on tension caused by the divorce, which can make your separation easier, but there may be unintended consequences of moving out before your divorce paperwork is signed. There are even some circumstances when moving out can harm your desired outcome.  Your ability to keep your home or have custody of your children can be affected by prematurely moving out.

Your Home

If you move out before your divorce, then you may be forfeiting your right to claim that property during your divorce filings under certain circumstances. For example, if the home is only in your spouse’s name, then you may not be able to claim the property if you leave before your divorce is finalized. If your name isn’t on the property, then staying in the home until the divorce is finalized will at least help you avoid the financial pitfalls of moving out too early.

But for most marriages, the marital home is the most important and the largest asset, which means both spouses are likely going to try to claim this asset. Your home will usually be considered shared property if it was purchased during the marriage, and if your name is on the deed, you may still be able to retain some rights to the property even if you move out.

Your Finances

Leaving your home early tends to have financial consequences that may affect the outcome of your divorce. For example, if you leave the home and you are the primary breadwinner in the family, then you may be obligated to continue paying for all expenses for the home as well as paying for the expenses of your new residence. Even with a higher income than your spouse, paying for two homes can be a heavy financial burden.

That said, if you happen to be the lower-wage earner, then moving out before your divorce is finalized may have a different outcome. If you move out, you will likely only need to pay your own bills, but this will also illustrate to the court that you can provide adequately for yourself and that may affect any alimony payments that you will receive in the future.

Your Children

Even if you move out, your spouse cannot keep you from seeing your children, but because you will have a different residence, you and your spouse will need to agree to a visitation schedule before you move out. Texas law prefers both parents are involved in the rearing of a child, so it’s unlikely that moving out will prevent you from fighting for custody, but your general accommodations and your ability to provide for your children in your new home will be a point of interest for the court.

Additionally, the court will also pay attention to the effort you have taken to share custody of your children during your divorce. While it’s unavoidable that your daily interactions with your children will be much different after you have left the family home, the Texas family court will likely want to see that you exercised your visitation rights. The better you share custody of your children during the divorce, the more likely you will be to have a favorable parenting plan later, and that’s often easier if you stay in the home.

What Should Men in Sugar Land, TX and Houston, TX Do?

Ultimately, it may be best for men getting a divorce to stay in the family home, even if tensions are high. As long as staying in the home is not to the detriment of personal safety or the wellbeing of any children, it can be easier on your finances to stay until the divorce is finalized. If necessary, you can move to a different part of the home to keep the peace, but keeping the marital home your primary residence is usually the best idea.

Why You May Need a Divorce Attorney for Men

Problems that may occur if you move out during a divorce aren’t the only thing you need to be concerned about as a man filing for divorce. In many cases, you will also need to be knowledgeable about spousal support and child support, particularly if you are the higher-earning partner in the marriage. Monthly payments to your spouse and child will be determined during your divorce and you may need the help of a divorce attorney for men so you can get the best deal.

Spousal Support

If you and your spouse have been married for at least five years, then you will likely need to pay monthly spousal support if you are the higher-earning partner. Spousal support is meant to help your ex-spouse maintain their quality of life for a set period until they can provide for themselves. You will pay spousal support for several years, and the longer you have been married, the longer you will be making payments.

Your lawyer will use your financial information to help you make a better case for your spousal support payments. It’s important to remember that the court will generally base the calculations for spousal support based on a certain percentage of your income, but some factors can possibly be used to negotiate these payments to make them more affordable to you.

Child Custody and Child Support

Child custody and child support payments are another reason you may need a divorce attorney for men. In Texas, both spouses are eligible for primary custody of children regardless of gender; as long as the children will have a good quality of life with emotional and physical nurturing, the court will award primary custody to either parent. Men may be able to get full custody if they can work with a lawyer to display evidence of how they can provide a good home and upbringing for their children.

Child support may or may not be bundled into any spousal support payments. Again, child support payments are calculated by looking at a certain percentage of your income. You may need the help of a lawyer to negotiate a monthly payment that will not stress your financial situation. You can also speak with a lawyer if you need to temporarily halt child support payments (such as the loss of a job).

Should you stay or should you go? In general, men who are getting divorced will benefit the most from staying in the shared family home until the divorce is finalized. Leaving the shared home prematurely can have drastic financial consequences, so it’s best to remain in the home if you can so you won’t face heavy financial burdens. For more advice about your divorce, please contact Skillern Firm in Houston, TX and Sugar Land, TX today.