Going through the divorce process is never easy. In fact, with emotions running high and important issues at stake, it can often prove difficult. But when you have to make impromptu decisions, it can be downright overwhelming.
Cohabitating during divorce proceedings may seem unimaginable, but there are some important reasons as to why you may want to stay in the marital home. Here are several reasons to stay and try to eliminate the all-too-common hostility that accompanies this kind of a “breakup.”
When it comes to child custody arrangements, the courts will look at what is in the best interest of the children. Because constant change can prove very difficult for children, the court will attempt to maintain their current existence in as many ways as is possible. This includes remaining in the family home.
If one spouse moves out, the remaining spouse can argue that moving the children from the home would create too much disruption. Therefore, the parent who remains in the house is at an advantage concerning child custody, while the one who moves out must defend their actions in court, proving that it was in the best interest of the children.
By drafting up a parenting agreement prior to anyone moving out of the home, both parents can establish a shared parenting schedule and can maintain their rights.
Another reason as to why many couples remain in the marital home is finances. When a couple splits up, the finances that once contributed to a single family home are also split in half. One of the most difficult challenges of divorce is how to make enough income to support two households.
When the higher-earning spouse moves out of the family property, they are expected to continue to pay for many of the same bills that they had been paying previously, possibly including the mortgage and insurance payments. Therefore, the spouse who moves out of the house may be at a great disadvantage.
Just because a spouse stays in the marital home during separation does not mean that they are more likely to receive the house when assets are divided. State laws require that marital assets be distributed equitably. A spouse may stay in the marital home, though equitable distribution could dictate that the other receives monetary compensation or other assets equal to the property’s value as such.
Other Options if You Cannot Peacefully Co-Exist
For spouses who can get along in a fairly healthy manner, a short-term option is for each parent to live in the home for alternate periods, or instead divide areas of occupancy. This allows children to remain in place.
However, it is important to note that in some states, spouses are obligated to physically separate for a specified amount of time. If you are obligated to do so, or if you have been a victim of domestic abuse in the home, it is likely in your best option to leave. In this case, looking for somewhere else to live, whether buying or renting, is necessary.
If you or a loved one is going through the divorce process, it is important to be sure that you have planned properly for the future, taking into consideration things such as relocation, alimony, and child custody. For a free consultation, call (856) 512-1461 or contact us online today.