Many individuals consider moving out during a Florida divorce. However, friends and family frequently tell their loved ones not to leave a shared residence. This is due to the mistaken belief that a party gives up legal rights to the home if they leave. However, this is simply a typical misunderstanding of the legal concept of “abandonment.” Nevertheless, moving out during a Florida divorce should be considered on a case by case basis. There are many factors to consider before moving out including the financial ability of the client, the client’s short-term and long-term goals, and most importantly – the client’s safety.
In a normal case regardless if one party moves out, if the home is a marital asset, that party will be entitled to equitable distribution of the home whether or not they reside there. That said, the party needs to know that once they choose to move out, it will be very difficult to move back in during the divorce process itself. This does not mean that they have waived any legal rights in the home.
Another important factor to consider when deciding to leave a home during a divorce is the financial burden of maintaining another household. It can be difficult to maintain two households with income that was previously supporting just one, especially with the added expense of going through a divorce. Additionally, the party that moves out is not automatically off the hook for financial obligations for the house they decide to leave. For example, the mortgage will still need to be paid or if the party is on a lease, they will still be technically responsible for rent that comes due. Can the party who is staying make the required payment?
Safety is another factor to consider when deciding whether to move out during a Florida divorce. Safety takes priority in situations involving domestic violence, threats, or where a party feels uncomfortable inside the home. If there is the possibility of domestic violence or the shared home is otherwise not safe, a party should leave as soon as possible. A person who experiences domestic violence should do whatever is necessary to secure the safety for all involved, including going to the court for protective order and asking a judge to order the abusive spouse to move out. Moreover, if the relationship between the parties has a high level of conflict, moving out can provide some necessary peace and may be in the best interests of the children.
Parties who ultimately decide to move out during a Florida divorce should be aware of the contents of the household before they leave. It is not uncommon for household items to go missing once a party moves out. It is recommended that the person who is leaving take photographs or video footage from inside the home to document what it is inside. In the event that furniture is sold or property inside the home begins to disappear, this will memorialize what was there and can serve as an inventory if it is needed as proof months later.
Moving out during a Florida divorce is a common concern. A knowledgeable family law attorney can discuss your options with you. Bragg Law Firm has the experience and compassion necessary to handle the toughest family issues, including the decision of moving out during a Florida divorce. Mr. Bragg represents clients in all types of family law cases and provides strong representation, understanding, and objective legal guidance during times of difficult transition. Call for (941) 893-1555 for a free consultation to discuss your options.
713 S. Orange Ave, Suite 105
Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone # (941) 893-1555