Often, one of the most difficult decisions about your divorce must be made at the very beginning of the process. Even before the financial essentials have been discussed, you need to ask, “Who should move out?”
It is important to consider that the person who moves out at the beginning of the process does not have to be the person who ultimately gives up the property. It is challenging to know, for sure, what will be done with the family residence in the very beginning, before all assets, debts, and income have been reviewed and discussed.
If you are litigating your divorce, your attorney will surely tell you do NOT move out under any circumstance. While I understand the legal reasons for giving this advice, sometimes forcing a couple to remain residing together can substantially strain their relationship, the children’s well-being, and create more difficulty for the couples to come to a resolution. Instead, if the couple agrees that it is best for all involved if one of the parents temporarily relocates, that physical separation can often have a very positive effect on the process. More than anything, it allows the tension to subside and can give both parents room to breathe and therefore, think more clearly.
If you are nervous about the legal implications of doing so, it is important to put the intentions of the parties in writing. If you are considering divorce or separation and are interested in getting help setting up an agreement for one of you to temporarily relocate, we are happy to assist. Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center.
by: Jennifer Segura