When the subject of separation is brought up or after being served with divorce papers, the gut reaction for most people in Minnesota is to leave the marital home they share with their soon-to-be ex. However, this might be the greatest mistake you’ll ever make during this process.
Leaving the marital home
Most people convince themselves, or their partner persuades them that moving out is often the best thing to do during divorce because it cuts down on the conflict and makes the process much easier. Others reason that it may be necessary when kids are involved in shielding them from the emotional fallout of their “parent’s ending love” for one another.
The reality, however, is that leaving the marital home can do more harm than good emotionally and legally. It can also profoundly impact any future custody arrangement you might have with your children. Your voluntary departure shows the court that you are not as close with your kids as the other parent. Even if you were the best parent for your kids, your easiness of packing your belongings and leaving sends a contradictory message.
If you don’t have children, leaving might still affect you tremendously, especially if you are the primary earner for your household. Even after moving to a new apartment, the court can authorize a “status quo order” that will force you to keep up paying for things like mortgages, house bills and maintenance and groceries for your soon-to-be ex-spouse in the marital home until the divorce process is over.
What you should do instead
The only thing to do, regardless of family dynamics, is to stay in the marital home until you receive the final divorce decree. If you must move out, it’s essential to get an official court order that stipulates the terms of your departure and to understand how it might affect you in the future.
Deciding whether or not to leave the marital home during a divorce is a massive decision with dire consequences. If you’re currently facing this dilemma, it may be a good idea to use caution and stay in the house. Moving into the basement is even better if you can’t stand your soon-to-be ex.