Being Smart About Separating From Your Child’s Other Parent
If you’re planning to get divorced, you might want to get out of the marital home as soon as possible, but don’t be too hasty. If you have children with your spouse, you need to be smart about how you go about separation before the divorce.
Living in or Leaving the Marital Home
When divorce is on the horizon, you’ll need to consider whether you’re going to stay and live in the marital home or if you’re going to move out. Unless there is a safety issue relating to your spouse and you need to immediately flee, stay put for now. Speak with your lawyer to learn what you should do. If you have children and you leave without them, you could be putting them in danger. You also run the risk of being told you abandoned your children, which could prejudice your right to child custody. You’re also not legally allowed to take them with you unless you have a court order or signed permission from your spouse.
If you leave your marital home, it may be harder to retrieve some of your personal belongings as well. Perhaps your spouse and your children will take possession of certain things, using them up and wearing them out. If you willingly leave the home, your spouse may not allow you access to get those things, and a court might assume you purposely left those things for your family to use and may not give you ordered access to the house.
Paying Child Support
If you do make the decision to leave the marital home and your children stay there with your spouse, you will most likely have to pay child support. Even if you and your spouse come to an agreement that your children will live with you for half of the time, you might still have to pay child support if you make a greater income than your spouse.
Paying Spousal Support
Each marriage is different in how finances are handled, but you might have to pay spousal support if you leave the marital home. If your spouse depended on your income for certain bills and expenses, a judge may order you to continue to pay for those things. If you make more money than your spouse, that might also be a good reason for a court to order spousal support when you leave.
Contact a Lawyer
If you and your spouse are separating while you wait for divorce proceedings to be complete, be careful about leaving your marital home, especially if you have children. Contact a divorce lawyer, like the lawyers at May Law, LLP to help you through the process.