One of the most common mistakes people make during a divorce is moving out of the matrimonial home too quickly. It is imperative to discuss this drastic living arrangement change with your family law lawyer before making a final decision.
Here are some reasons why:
- Leaving the matrimonial home may give the opposing divorce lawyer the opportunity to argue that your children are not your priority
- Leaving the matrimonial home without a parenting plan may prejudice your position with regards to custody and access
- Leaving the matrimonial home may increase the remaining spouse’s ability to obtain exclusive possession of the matrimonial home. Exclusive possession gives the spouse living in the matrimonial home the right to change the locks and exclude the spouse who left from the home on a temporary or final basis. This can have very serious legal effects if the ultimate plan is to sell the home.
- Leaving the matrimonial home immediately raises the issue of who will pay the household bills. A failure to pay the household bills (or contribute to a portion of them) may give the opposing divorce lawyer the opportunity to label you as a non-payer prejudicing your position in the case.
- Leaving the matrimonial home may immediately trigger the requirement to pay child support and spousal support. A failure to pay the support may give the opposing divorce lawyer the opportunity to label you as a non-payer prejudicing your position in the case
All that being said, continuing to live in the matrimonial home together as separated spouses can take its toll on everyone. It is essential that you speak with a family law lawyer. If you are thinking about leaving the matrimonial home or if your spouse has just left the matrimonial home, you should speak with a family law lawyer to know your rights.