What Happens If I Move Out of My House During My Divorce?

Posted on : February 8, 2021

Often, people believe the best solution to keeping the peace during the process of a divorce is for one spouse to leave the family home. This may reduce some conflict, but it also puts the spouse who left the house at a serious disadvantage. 

If you leave your marital home before the divorce is over, you risk: 

The Court Awarding Custody of Your Children to Your Spouse  

If you have children and leave the home, this allows your spouse to become the primary caretaker of your kids. When your divorce petition is heard by a judge, they will consider who has been responsible for the care of your children up to the point of the hearing. 

In many cases, the court will choose to award custody to the parent with whom the children have been staying. By refusing to leave the home, you protect your right to equal custody.   

Being Prevented Access to the Home (Including Your Belongings) 

When you leave your home, you willingly leave your spouse with access to everything of yours that is still in the home. If they destroy or alter things of yours, they can often do so without consequence because those items also belong to them. If you have to come back to the house to get something, your spouse may refuse to let you in and you may have difficulty getting help regaining access to the home. 

If you do have to leave, make sure to take everything of critical importance with you, particularly any documents that are vital to your divorce case. 

Being Financially Responsible for Two Homes  

If you move out, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up being on the hook financially for some or all of the cost of both households. This is especially true if you’re the larger wage earner. If your ex-spouse is unable to work for a period of time while they obtain additional education or vocational training, you could be ordered to pay enough alimony and child support to cover their financial needs while still having to support yourself. 

How a Texas Divorce Lawyer Can Assist You 

Navigating a divorce is difficult enough. When there’s pressure on you to move out of your house even though doing so seriously compromises your case, this can make things even harder. You need reliable divorce support from an experienced Texas attorney. Contact the Bourlon Law Firm for more information about protecting your rights to property and child custody during your divorce or to book your consultation at (361) 289-6040.