When you and your spouse decide to divorce, it can be difficult to remain together in the marital home. Young kids, in particular, can often sense the discord or hostility between you and your spouse. Even if there is no outright shouting or arguing, it’s common for kids to sense coldness or distance between the two of you. Before making the decision to move out of the marital home, here are 4 important things to consider:
1. You will still generally have to continue to contribute to the household expenses.
In addition to paying for separate living expenses if you move out, you generally would still be obligated to contribute to the marital home expenses to the same or similar extent. For example, if your income is used to pay the mortgage, this should continue even if you move out.
2. Is there a child custody and parenting time agreement in place?
New Jersey law provides that both parents have equal rights to custody of their children. Moving out can change the status quo and you could potentially end up with less parenting time.
Therefore, it’s important to have a child custody and parenting time agreement in place before moving out of the marital home.
3. You might have limited access to the marital home.
You still have a financial interest in the marital home even if you move out. But once you move out, the spouse who stays in the home gains a general right to privacy after a reasonable amount of time, particularly when the kids live there too.
This means that when you want to come to the home for any reason, you would generally need to prior agreement from your spouse. For more information, check out this post.
- How does living together affect the kids?
Contrary to common belief, it’s not really the actual divorce, but ongoing conflict, that can be most harmful to kids’ emotional well-being. This can include not only actively fighting and shouting, but also treating each other with coldness, indifference, or contempt.
Generally, your kids want you to be happy and they often know when you’re not. They can experience ongoing anxiety from not knowing what will happen. Therefore, if you believe the tensions and hostilities in the home are likely to affect your kids, you might consider one of you moving out.
The other thing to consider is that tensions and hostilities in the home can sometimes escalate to the point where one of you files a restraining order.
Moving out is not an easy decision. That’s why you should first consider the above and most importantly, what is likely to be best for your kids moving forward.
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