One of the more popular tactics women use when they announce that they want a divorce is to tell their husband he needs to move out of their house. The demand will often be couched nicely with the suggestion that “you just need to find another place to stay while we work this out” or “it’ll be best for the children not to see us fight.”
If you take the bait, pack an overnight bag and head out into the night to stay with a friend or family member, you’ve just dug yourself into a deep hole before the divorce process has even begun in earnest.
Why Leaving the Home Voluntarily is a Huge Mistake
If you and your wife have children, your voluntary move away from the home – even if intended to be temporary – sends a signal to the court that interacting daily with your children is really not that important to you. The court could also view your moving out as the establishment of a new routine in your relationship with your children, possibly resulting in court-ordered custody rulings to be even more heavily weighted in favor of your soon-to-be ex-wife.
If you do not have children, moving out prematurely can still cost you big time. If you’re the primary earner and leave voluntarily, you could be ordered by the court to continue subsidizing your wife’s day-to-day living expenses – including the mortgage and insurance payments – even if you no longer live with her.
One important note to remember is that as long as your name is on the deed or mortgage, community property state laws dictate that proceeds from the sale of the house will still be divided nearly 50-50. Even if your wife remains in the house, you’ll be compensated financially or with property of similar value for your share of the family home. This is called equalization.
Your Best Move is Don’t Move
As hard as it may be, finding a way to remain living together in the same house is your best option for the long haul. Even if you have to move to a spare bedroom or sleep on the couch, do what you have to do. The potential payoffs for doing so will be worth it: you and your ex may even work things out and save your marriage or you’ll be in a far stronger position for a much fairer divorce settlement.
If you’ve been asked to move out of your home by your wife, you need the advice of an attorney skilled in divorce law. Contact the attorneys at Men’s Legal Center in San Diego immediately. We’ll be happy to sit down with you and go over the many options you may not even know are available to you.