While moving out of the family home during a contentious, and often emotionally draining, divorce might seem like a good idea, it’s actually a big mistake that many men commonly make in Oklahoma. Let’s explore the pitfalls of voluntarily moving out of the home during a divorce and why you should reconsider if you’re a man going through one.
Why men shouldn’t leave on their own
The urge to leave the home during a divorce is understandable; the ordeal can be emotionally and physically draining — especially for any children that might be involved.
Your wife might pressure you to leave voluntarily by invoking the children’s mental health (a valid concern) or by threatening to involve law enforcement to have you forcibly removed. However, the voluntary act of leaving the home offers the opposing side’s legal team the opportunity to claim that you have “abandoned” the family, in upcoming legal battles.
What are the legal consequences of leaving voluntarily?
If you have children, “abandoning the family” by moving out of the home voluntarily might negatively impact your custody rights later on. The court might assume that you are not interested in caring for your children and therefore withhold full or partial custody as part of the divorce settlement or ruling.
The end result might be loss of custody and also higher child-support payments.
Moving out voluntarily could cost you money
Even if no kids are involved, moving out of the home voluntarily could negatively impact your ability to protect your finances during a divorce.
By issuing a “status quo” order, you might get stuck paying the mortgage and utility bills even while you’re not living in the home during the divorce proceedings. Your access to critical financial records stored in the home might also be cut off.
Knowing your rights, and exercising them, could allow you to keep custody of your children and hold on to more of your money after a divorce. It’s critical that you not allow a slip-up like voluntarily moving out of the home to wreck your finances and/or your relationship with your kids.