If your spouse is divorcing you do you have to leave the family home?

It is impossible for me or for any other attorney to tell you how to handle yourself when you are faced with the prospect of a spouse who wants to divorce you. You have spent the better part of your adult life with an individual as a life partner, as a parent, and as your closest friend, only to find that how your relationship is in the process of being formally destroyed. This can be a backbreaking and emotionally draining moment for you. There is no way for you to prepare for it in some ways.

In other ways, however, you can begin to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your interests in the aftermath of being served with divorce papers. The first thing that I can tell you is that many spouses will do the first thing that pops into their minds without considering their options.

Emotions like anger, betrayal, heartbreak, and sadness can cause an otherwise rational person to deviate from their typical decision-making process. The result can be devastating as far as their positioning within the confines of the divorce case.

What’s that? Do you think that you’re the exception to this rule? That you are made of sterner stuff than anybody else who has ever gone through a divorce? You’re the person that will be resolute in their decision-making, unaffected by the standard, human emotions that center around a divorce? If you are thinking along these lines, I recommend that you stop- at least long enough to read this blog post.

I think it is in your best interests to stop and consider your options and whether or not you are prepared for all the decisions that come along with a divorce because you have so much to gain or lose in a divorce, depending on what strategy you implement.

Nobody can make all the right decisions in life or divorce. You can prepare yourself as best as possible to put yourself in a position where more good decisions can come about than bad. If you can do this, you will be ahead of the game- and almost certainly ahead of your spouse.

Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, will cover the subject of whether or not you should move out of your family home after your spouse has filed for divorce from you.

At the beginning of a divorce, many important decisions are made that can chart the course for the remainder of your case. Not only will you be affected by what decision you make, but your children will as well.

Whether or not you will ask the court to allow you to have primary conservatorship of your child has a lot to do with whether you stay or go. Keep your emotions in check and read on to learn more about this vital subject.

Stay, stay, stay if you want to be in the running for the primary conservator of your child.

Parents (a lot of the time, I’m talking about fathers) tend to assume that the mother of the kids will be named as the parent with the right to determine the primary residence. This means that the kids live with mom for the most part, and dad is left fighting for scraps of visitation time. While this may have been true at some point, and you may have friends that will tell you this is still the case, I would beg to differ.

For one, even if you do not ultimately win primary conservatorship rights over your kids, the visitation that you are awarded is not mere “scraps.” If you have an expanded standard possession order, you will have your children around 45% of the year.

Not the “50/50” split that many fathers seem to think is the holy grail of custody arrangements, but it is darn close. So no matter what happens in this area of your divorce, you will not be shut off your child’s life.

The second thing to keep in mind regarding this subject is that it is not a foregone conclusion that the mom in the marriage gets to retain possession of the kids for the most part. More moms than dads tend to do so because dads usually concede this point early in the divorce, and it becomes moot.

A way to unknowingly concede this battle to the mother of your kids is by leaving your house simply because you have been asked to do so. Doing so can have a chain reaction in your divorce and should be avoided.

Weigh your options and do not make any hasty decisions when asked to move out

You may feel like your life is spiraling out of control when you first come face to face with a divorce petition, but I can assure you that it is not. For one, a divorce takes a minimum of sixty-one days to complete from the day that your spouse filed their petition.

For two, a divorce takes two people to move it along. By all means, file your answer within the mandated period, but outside of doing that, you are under no pressure to do anything until ordered by a judge.

It is human nature to want to remove yourself from a stressful place, especially if you feel like it is in your child’s best interests. Why postpone the inevitable, you may be wondering? As we have already discussed, it is not inevitable that your spouse will be awarded the home in your divorce.

For instance- whose income does the mortgage get paid out of? If you are the husband in a marriage, does your wife work? Will she be able to afford the mortgage payments without your income? If not, you may be in a stronger position than you think when it comes to this area.

The other thing that spouses (usually husbands) tend to think about why to move out of the marital home is that by doing so, you are making your spouse happy. Therefore she will be more “fair” in negotiating other aspects of the case.

This, by and large, is not how it works in most divorces. Your spouse will more than likely see this as you doing what she pleases and will use that same line of reasoning in other areas of your case. Your decision on whether to move out affects your case dramatically, as you can see.

Threats: Move out, or you’ll regret it

I have seen spouses (mostly wives) tell their partners that they will regret not unless they leave home as instructed. Next comes a threat that they will not get to see their kids because they’ll ask the judge to withhold visitation during the divorce.

Know that your spouse cannot do this to you. This is an idle, empty threat with no ability for your spouse to follow through on it. Even if you believe that ultimately you will want to leave home, or if your spouse is banging her fist on the table demanding you go, you should resist the temptation to do so. As long as nobody is violent, it would help if you remained in your home as long as possible.

More on moving out of your home in a divorce to be posted in tomorrow’s blog

As attorneys, we are often asked about this topic, so I want to devote some time to discuss it with you all. Head back here tomorrow to learn more about how moving out of your home after a divorce has been filed can affect your case negatively and how remaining at home can benefit you a great deal in your divorce.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding family law and divorce, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free of charge consultations with one of our licensed family law attorneys six days a week. It would be an honor to sit down with you, answer your questions, and discuss our office’s services to you and your family.

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