Ok to move out, pre-divorce?

Hi there,

Does anyone have any experience of moving out of the family home (kids are grown) but not yet divorced?  A friend warned me that "abandoning the family home" could result in a less fair settlement.  Is this true?  FWIW, I raised the kids.

(Moderator reminder: BPN doesn't accept legal advice in Parent Q&A so please post about your own experience only. There is also previous advice here: Divorce & the Family House)

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RE: Ok to move out, pre-divorce? ()

I'm sorry you're going through a divorce. Even in the best case scenario, divorce is tough.

My divorce was finalized last year, after 25 years of marriage. Your friend may be referring to the "date of separation" upon which the division of assets and spousal support (if any) are based. I was in a situation where my home was unsafe, and I wanted to move out to stabilize and work on the family and marital problems. At that point I was aware divorce was a possibility, and I did not believe it was inevitable. I consulted with an attorney who gave me solid advice, well worth the consultation fee. I encourage you to do the same.

I also encourage you, if you have not done so already, to attend a free divorce workshop to learn more about the process and different ways of divorcing (DIY, mediation, collaboration, court). Here are two organizations that provide free workshops that I found to be well worth the time invested: Second Saturday and Collaborative Practice.

Also consider reading Home Will Never Be the Same Again: A Guide of Adult Children of Gray Divorce. One of the lawyers in my collaborative divorce recommended it. I found the information helpful. Your children may be grown, but the divorce will effect them.

Divorce is a highly emotional process, and at the end of the day, it's a legal and business transaction. Hear what well-meaning friends have to say, but listen to the professionals, and put together a team you can trust.

Here's to brighter days ahead.