Will Moving Out of the House Affect the Results of My Divorce?
While you don’t give up any legal rights to the house or abandon the house by moving out, there are legal and strategic reasons why you should stay in the house.
First, your continued occupancy of the home will give the judge a basis for awarding the home to you at the end of the case. In deciding issues such as this, many times judges look for an answer which will promote stability and keep things as they are. Awarding the house to you when you have continued to reside there provides this stability. If you do move out, it may be difficult to get back in the house and to have it awarded as your property at the end of the case. This is especially the case if you have been out for some time.
Second, in many cases, the children will stay in the house during the time the case is pending. A parent who is also living in the house is obviously spending the maximum amount of time with the children. The parent who is living outside the home will not be spending as much time with the children and will only have a set visitation schedule. Being with the children is an important factor that is considered by judges when deciding issues regarding custody and parenting time. This is because time with the children keeps you close to them and involved with all of their activities. Therefore, the parent in the home with the children will generally have an advantage over the parent who is not in the home.
Lastly, there are situations where the “in house spouse” becomes comfortable with the situation and has no desire to move the case along. Life remains basically the same for the “in house spouse” and, even better, the other spouse is not around to make things difficult. Cases tend to stagnate, to the advantage of the “in house spouse”.