While each situation is different, the short answer is, “no.” When a couple decides to end their marriage, it can cause extreme stress, especially if the relationship becomes contentious. Some may determine they can no longer live together under the same roof.

However, for strategic reasons, spouses who move out of the family home can lose a lot of leverage over the outcome of their divorce. Their spouse can gain an even greater advantage if they remain in the house with the children.

How does “staying” create an advantage?

Spouses who move out of the house do not technically give up any of their rights. But there are two main reasons why staying put is a good idea:

  • Parenting time: By remaining in the family home, parents continue to spend as much time as possible with their kids. Being present is typically a significant factor when custody is decided. Moving out means parenting time may be spelled out through a visitation schedule.
  • Keeping the house: Judges usually make decisions based on the best interests of children and the family, and stability can be a big factor. The longer you’ve been out of the home, the more it could work against you when the court is ready to rule.

Consider a few other advantages

While living together with a soon-to-be-ex can be uncomfortable, it can help you keep in touch with other important aspects of your case, such as:

  • Keeping track of financial information, such as reviewing banking, credit card and other statements
  • Observing how your spouse interacts with your children allows you to identify and document any problems or a lack of parenting skills
  • Keeping a close eye on your spouse’s comings and goings, and having a record of their activities
  • Maintaining a home base where friends, family and neighbors can be supportive

Weigh the benefits and the challenges

Moving out can relieve some of the tension and emotion, especially when divorcing spouses no longer get along. However, allowing your spouse to remain in the home alone can, in some cases, extend the divorce process as they may be comfortable and have no incentive to move the case along.

Besides, most people do not want to be on the outside looking in when it could negatively affect one of the most critical periods in their lives. An experienced family law attorney will aggressively protect your rights to remain in the home during this challenging time to help you achieve the best possible outcome.