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Should You Move Out of the House Before Divorce?

It is very common for one spouse to move out of a house after divorce paperwork is filed. After all, there is little point to trying to save the marriage. Texas is a no-fault state, so if one spouse wants to divorce there is little the other can do to halt the process.

Often, one spouse moves out of the house and either moves in with friends or family or sets up a second household. But is it really a good idea to leave voluntarily? If your spouse wants to go, then you can’t stop them. But should you pack up and pull out? Leaving the house could impact your divorce, and our Galveston family law attorney explains how.

Leaving when You Don’t Have Children

Couples who don’t have kids together have fewer considerations. You could decide to leave just to get space from your ex. You might argue over who gets to take the pets, but there are still fewer legal complications involved when a couple is childless.

One issue, however, is financial. You probably have joint bank accounts or even credit cards. By living together, you might feel like you can keep tabs on your spouse’s spending, and you might fear he or she will go crazy spending if you aren’t around.

Talk to your League City divorce lawyer. You can freeze joint credit cards, and we can protect your joint bank accounts, possibly asking a judge to freeze them.

Leaving when You Have Kids Together

This is a different dynamic entirely. Leaving the house means leaving the kids, unless they are coming with you. Consequently, pulling out of the driveway can impact your legal case. Here’s how.

Texas family law judges want to limit the disruption caused by the divorce. Unless you have a good reason for requesting custody, a judge might leave the children with the parent who remains in the house. There’s an exception if the other parent is abusive. In that case, a judge might give you custody so you can leave with them. But again, all things considered, a judge wants to reduce stress on the children. Moving to a new home is stressful.

Consequently, if you voluntarily leave your house, there’s a good chance you won’t have custody of your children. And that could matter when it comes time to set the final custody order. Mindful of limiting disruption, your judge might decide to give the other parent custody of the kids so they can stay in the house.

A judge might also interpret your voluntarily leaving as a lack of commitment to your family. That’s tough for fathers, especially, if they work long hours and are not the primary caregivers. A judge might think you are more dedicated to your job than your kids—and point to your voluntary decision to leave the house.

Think carefully before leaving. It’s tempting to immediately back your bags and hit the highway to get away from your spouse. The temptation is especially strong if they were the one to file for divorce, and you feel blindsided and hurt. But you could make it harder to be the primary conservator for your children if you voluntarily leave.

Can You Stay Together?

This might be an option. We know couples who continue to live together as they go through the divorce. You might have no choice, especially if money is tight and you can’t afford an apartment. Some people have no family in Texas they could move in with, either. They live together until the divorce is completed.

There are benefits to staying in the family home. You can show a judge how involved you are with your children. Of course, your spouse might try to get a protective order and force you out of the house. But our legal team can help fight any frivolous order of protection.

Discuss Your Options with a Lawyer at Our Firm

Deciding to get divorced might feel like a big step—and it is. But it’s only the first of many decisions you will have to make in the coming months. Whether to stay in the home during your divorce is another critical decision.

Let’s talk about it. Call The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today to discuss whether staying in the home is the right move for you. If you are being abused, we can help you get an order of protection and temporary child custody. Call us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation at our office.