Ask A Divorce Lawyer: Will there be any backlash if I leave the home while deciding upon a divorce?


My wife has asked me to find somewhere else to stay. I am considering finding a place to stay for a couple of weeks. How will this reflect as far as any kind of backlash if we end up getting a divorce?




Because I am licensed to practice law in Michigan, I can only give you general information, Cordell & Cordell, P.C. does have an office in Atlanta, Georgia, and I strongly encourage you to consult with an attorney in your state. You should not rely upon this information as creating an attorney-client relationship.

That being said, there are common themes in divorce cases when one party leaves the marital home. First, the leaving party is less likely to receive primary physical custody of any child because courts tend to render decisions that maintain the child’s established custodial environment. An established custodial environment is a physical and a psychological environment where the child naturally looks for care, comfort, guidance and life’s necessities. This is usually the home where the child resided until the separation. (Of course, other factors, such as abuse in the home, could change the analysis). Second, the remaining party is more likely to receive exclusive possession of the home until the court issues its final divorce decree. This means you could leave for a few weeks but end up locked out of your home, figuratively and perhaps literally, for several months. Third, the leaving party loses considerable control over the property inside the home. (For example, you cannot prevent your spouse from taking a baseball bat to your favorite widescreen television in a fit of anger). However, leaving the home could calm the tension between you and your spouse and actually bring you back together.

There is a certain cost-benefit analysis here that only you, knowing the facts of your marital discord, your spouse’s temperament, etc., can do. Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you need legal assistance, you should consult an attorney in your area.




Jennifer M. Paine is an Associate Attorney in the Detroit, Michigan office of Cordell & Cordell P.C. She is licensed to practice in Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in Illinois, Ohio, and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Ms. Paine received her BA in English and Mathematics from Albion College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from MSU College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude.


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