More Stupid Mistakes! – Part 2

Is moving out of the family home a good idea?

Not if you’re the husband, according to US author and family lawyer Joseph Cordell, who devote s a chapter in his book “The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce” to the subject.

In fact, he makes some compelling arguments.

Firstly, if there are children, according Mr. Cordell it is much easier to stay fully involved with them if you’re in the family home than living elsewhere. I agree that this is certainly an important consideration before you make any decision to stay or go, since arguments involving access, can, in my experience, pose some of the most difficult, and frustrating challenges for any spouse who departs the family home.

In addition, after a lengthy period of separation from the children courts may be more reluctant to overturn the access “status quo” which has remained in place since you left the family home.

Secondly, there are financial considerations. Obviously, unless you have the option to move in with friends or family it is less expensive to simply stay in the family home.

Lastly, there is the matter of “stuff” – by that I mean items of furniture, personal effects, important documents (such as income or business related papers), etc. If you leave the family home, as I tell my own clients, it is virtually certain that you will never see such personal possessions again. This is also the reason I advise my clients should they choose to leave the family home that they move out everything they wish to retain, and to itemize and record (plus video if possible) not only what was taken but what was left. A video is helpful to counter any argument that, either the place was left a total mess, or that the only items of furniture remaining consist of wooden crates or the like!

In summary I would agree with the approach that it’s preferable to remain in the family home if possible, however there are certainly limitations. For example, if there are allegations or a history of domestic mistreatment (by either spouse) then I suggest it may not be prudent to stay. If family law disputes also become criminal matters the chance of either an amicable or speedy negotiated resolution are greatly diminished.

So, there really isn’t a simple answer to whether you should stay or go, it all depends on your own circumstances.

But one thing is certain, before you make this or any other important decision, take some time to talk with your own family law expert.

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