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Should You Move Out of Your House While Divorcing in Florida?

David Scott, P.A. Aug. 21, 2022

Opinions are mixed on whether it’s best to move out or stay put when you are divorcing in Florida. In this post, we’ll show you the pros and cons and tell you how a qualified attorney can help you make the right decision.

A home is normally a couple’s most valuable asset. Deciding which spouse should stay and which one should leave during divorce can be a tricky ordeal. Here are several thoughts to consider on either side of the argument.

Reasons to Move Out When Divorcing

If you decide to leave, here are a few reasons that may be a good idea.

Safety from Abuse

If you are divorcing due to domestic violence, leaving is a must for your safety and the safety of your children. You also may need to file a protective order against your spouse for further protection. If you are taking your children with you, you’ll need a temporary custody court order to avoid being accused of kidnapping.

Reduction of Conflict

If your relationship has a high level of conflict, moving out can provide relief and clarity. This decision may be best for your children if they are regularly exposed to negative behaviors.

Reasons to Stay Put When Divorcing

Of course, you aren’t required to leave your house unless a judge forces you to do so. These may be some of the benefits of staying.

Custody Issues

Divorce is hard on everyone, especially children. Staying put can help you retain a greater sense of normalcy during the divorce. Moreover, leaving can work against you in a child custody case. However, if you are the spouse who stays, your spouse may argue that he or she is being punished for leaving – even if their leaving reduced the conflict in the home.

Some couples have even developed creative options for the sake of the children, such as bird-nesting. Utilizing this method, spouses alternate living periods in the home so that the kids never have to move around and get to retain some sense of normalcy.

As you can see, it’s complicated. A skilled Florida family law attorney can help you draw up a parenting agreement that establishes a schedule of visitation and eases this issue for both sides. Speak with a lawyer to know what is best in your situation.

Financial Issues

Divorce can be expensive, and not every couple can afford to financially support two households.

The spouse who earns more will be ordered by the court to continue paying the majority of household expenses. This means that if the higher-earning spouse moves out, they may be forced to find a less satisfactory living situation.

If you are the spouse who decides to stay in the home, you may need to give up other assets in the divorce to be able to keep the house. However, there’s no guarantee that either spouse will be able to keep the house once the court divides all property. Florida courts divide property as equally as possible, and depending on your overall financial picture, keeping the house may not be equitable.

Again, it’s important to consult with a divorce attorney who can advise you on what to expect. You may be able to divide a large home into separate living areas so both spouses have private space. Some couples use a schedule for common areas like the kitchen and living room.

Want help navigating these complicated issues? Call today for an initial consultation, and we’ll help you make the best possible decision for everyone involved.