3 Reasons Not To Move Out Of Your House Before Your Divorce
It makes sense for one spouse to move out of the house when the couple decides to get divorced and it is often the husband who leaves, but there are several good reasons why neither spouse should move out until after the preliminary hearing. If you are planning on getting divorced and are considering moving out, you may want to consider the following three reasons why you may want to wait to do this.
Your Spouse Could Use The Excuse Of Abandonment
If you willingly pack your things and move out of your family home, your spouse may tell her lawyer that you freely left. By freely leaving your home, it can come across as abandonment of your family, and this can look bad in court.
If your spouse decides to use this reasoning against you, the court may agree and side with your spouse. This could cause major problems if you had any hopes of obtaining custody of your children, and it could even affect the amount of time the judge offers you for child visitation.
A preliminary hearing is a court hearing used to determine basic decisions between you and your spouse. This hearing typically takes place within 30 days of the date the divorce papers were filed, but this varies by state. If you can wait to move out until after this court appearance, you may be able to prevent appearing as though you abandoned your family.
You May Be Required To Pay The House Bills
Another key issue decided at the preliminary hearing is who will be responsible for paying the bills. If you already moved out and are now renting an apartment, you may end up being required to pay for the apartment or the house you moved out of. By waiting to move out until the preliminary hearing, your lawyer can help you avoid paying for everything.
This issue is especially important if the spouse that moves out is the primary breadwinner of the family. If you are not the primary breadwinner, you may not have to worry about this issue as much.
You May Lose Your Personal Belongings
The third reason you may want to wait to move out is to protect the things you own. If you move out of your house, you should realize that you may never be allowed inside again, especially if your spouse obtains a protective order against you. Because of this, you may be left with only the few things you grabbed when you moved out.
Waiting until the preliminary hearing to move out may help you avoid this problem. You can explain to your lawyer that you do not want to forfeit your personal belongings. To protect yourself against this, your lawyer might suggest making a complete list of all the things you want from your home. This list can be presented at the preliminary hearing, and it can be included in the divorce agreement.
Once you have this written into your divorce agreement, you will have the right to claim all the property listed in it. If your spouse refuses to let you in the house to get the things, or if he or she hides them from you, you can always go back to court. Your spouse could get in trouble by the judge for contempt of court, which means not abiding by a court order.
If you are not sure what to do as you prepare for a divorce, contact a divorce lawyer in your area. He or she will help you protect yourself and your things as you go through your divorce.