Once you or your spouse has decided to file for a divorce, living together may become uncomfortable. Regardless of the length of a marriage, it is difficult to adjust to sharing a home with a person who is no longer your legal spouse, especially if you are locked in a legal battle for assets or child custody. Leaving the marital home is often the choice one partner makes in order to keep the peace and avoid confrontations.
While establishing a separate household gives you a way to get away from a spouse you can no longer tolerate, there are potential repercussions when you move out of your marital home before your divorce is complete.
Hurts Custody Requests
Ohio courts focus on making custody determinations that are in the best interest of the child. Both parents can submit a parenting plan, and once the court reviews them, they can allocate time between both adults in the form of a shared parenting plan.
However, if no parenting plan is submitted or either parent believes shared parenting is not in the best interest of their mutual children, the court may need to make a final determination. When the court is involved in deciding custody, a parent who has left the marital home, voluntarily reducing his or her own time spent with the children, will have a difficult time gaining sole or primary custody.
Double the Expenses
Leaving your marital home does not automatically relieve you of financial obligations. If your name is on the mortgage, utility bills, or you were the primary income earner, you may still be responsible for paying expenses associated with your marital property.
Moving out during your divorce could lead to you paying double the bills and, in some situations, you may have fewer financial resources available. Paying for a divorce attorney, bills in two households, temporary spousal support, and more can make you desperate to finalize the divorce even if the proposed settlement is not to your advantage.
Lose Access to Property
When an adult moves out of his or her marital home during a divorce, he or she rarely takes all of his or her property. Unfortunately, once you leave the house, your spouse may take steps to restrict your future access to the property or dispose of items that are held jointly.
It is possible to force your spouse into giving you access to a home that is owned jointly, and he or she can be held accountable for disposing of property without your permission, but both processes can be time-consuming. The last thing a person going through a contentious divorce wants to do is call the police to help regain entry to his or her home or realize too late that items with high monetary or sentimental value are permanently gone.
When to Contact an Attorney
If you or someone close to you is going through a divorce and considering moving out of a home shared with a spouse, it is important that legal advice is obtained prior to making a decision. The divorce attorneys at Lawrence Law Office are prepared to help you determine what choice is best for you and your unique situation. Contact us today to schedule a private consultation at our conveniently located Columbus, Ohio location.