Should A Man Leave The House during a Divorce?

If you are a man and at the very beginning or middle of a divorce, should you leave your house? Oftentimes—and to the surprise of many—the answer is no. However, men are quick to pack up and leave the house, even though it wasn’t their idea to divorce in the first place. This decision to vacate
could result in error immediately and down the line. When a man leaves his house, even if he thinks he’s being respectful toward his spouse and family, his spouse’s attorney could say he “abandoned his family.” It’s best to check with your state’s laws, but mostly if your name is on the lease or mortgage, you do not have to leave your house voluntarily.

When men do leave, it can send a contradictory message to the courts in regard to children. For example, if a man leaves, then in the court’s eyes, he is saying that the daily care and support of his children don’t matter to him. This could be far from the truth, but that’s the way the courts can see it. This immediately puts the man at an unfair advantage in regard to court proceedings. It can also result in the man paying far more in child support and receiving a lot less time with his children.

Another crucial misstep in voluntarily leaving the home is: Did you take important financial information and documents? In times of despair, it’s common and human nature that we don’t think about these factors that may seem small, but in the end, they are huge. Now you are left with this scenario: You can’t get back into your home and you have no idea of your financial records. That’s a scary scenario—especially if the divorce is confrontational. It has definitely been known for crucial financial records to “disappear” when a man goes back into the home and searches for them.

What happens if you don’t have kids? Well, if you leave the house, the courts could demand that you pay for your spouse’s bills, including mortgage, groceries, car payments, etc.—whatever you paid for during the marriage. Some states will authorize a “status quo” order, which means during the divorce proceeding, you must pay for whatever you paid for during the marriage. If your spouse makes less money than you, you may be subject to providing spousal support, so she can live in the lifestyle she has grown accustomed to.

At Fields and Dennis, we treat our clients with the utmost respect during the difficult time of divorce. We understand that a man wants to protect his family, and that it’s crucial to protect his best interests as well. Please contact us today if you are a man who is looking for a trusted and strategic Boston divorce lawyer.

Based on this Huffpost article: