Should You Move Out During a Divorce? Consider Your Options Carefully

Divorce and moving

When a marriage reaches the point of divorce, it often raises questions and concerns. One of the common dilemmas that individuals face is whether they should move out of the house or continue living together during the divorce process. Here are some valuable tips on this topic:

Don’t move out until you have a plan. This is particularly true if there are minor children. It’s essential to establish a temporary parenting time schedule through a court order, as opposed to relying on informal agreements. Moving out can trigger a series of immediate issues such as parenting schedules, financial support, bill payments, and even your access to the residence after leaving.

For some, the desire to escape conflict is a driving force behind wanting to move out. However, if the situation is unbearable because of abuse there may need to be an order of protection or seeking exclusive possession of the residence under Illinois law. If neither applies, consider delaying your departure as long as possible, try to minimize interactions and create a more comfortable living arrangement, akin to roommates who stay in separate spaces.

One substantial factor to weigh is the financial burden of maintaining two households.  It can be overwhelming to suddenly shoulder the expenses of two homes – rent, utilities, and all the associated costs. The longer you can delay this additional financial strain, the better. In some cases, it may be unavoidable, but it’s a factor to carefully consider.

Another option that occasionally arises is nesting – where both spouses continue to share the family home while taking turns living elsewhere. Nesting is relatively uncommon and often only feasible if both parties have the financial means to maintain their own apartments as well. It’s typically a temporary, not long-term solution.

The decision to move out during a divorce is complex and requires careful consideration. While escaping conflict may be tempting, it’s crucial to have a plan in place that addresses the needs of all parties involved, particularly if children are part of the equation. Delaying the additional expenses associated with two households, if possible, can provide significant financial relief. And while nesting is an option, it’s rarely a practical long-term solution.

Ultimately, consulting with a qualified family law attorney is essential to navigate the specifics of your situation and make the best decision for your unique circumstances. Divorce is never easy, but with the right guidance, you can make choices that serve your best interests and those of your family.

The Law Offices of Patrick Markey, P.C. are dedicated to the Collaborative Divorce Process. Our office is located at 180 Stetson Avenue, Suite 3500 in Chicago, Illinois. You may call us at 312-223-1763.