I want to leave my spouse. Will moving out impact my divorce negatively?
Perhaps you’ve heard that moving out of your home prior to the divorce being finalized will result in you losing your rights to the property. Perhaps you’ve heard that leaving your spouse prior to filing for divorce constitutes “abandonment” and that this will put you at a disadvantage. These are common misconceptions.
Michigan is a no-fault state. That means that neither party needs to allege any fault or wrongdoing on the part of their spouse in order to get a divorce. You should not fear being charged with “abandonment” in Michigan. If you move out prior to filing divorce or prior to your divorce being finalized, you are not acting illegally. You do not relinquish your property rights and you do not forfeit your rights to custody or parenting time.
However, it is important to remember that even though leaving the home does not affect your legal rights, it may not be the right decision for you. Leaving the home prematurely may make the ordinary division of household bills and expenses more complicated. If you have children, leaving the home (with or without the children) will push the issues of custody and parenting time and child support to the forefront.
Before you decide the leave your home, you should consult with me. Let’s take all of your circumstances into consideration and make an informed decision together about whether leaving your spouse or your home is a wise decision.