A Step-by-Step Guide to Moving Out After a Divorce
Going through a divorce doesn’t have to be as hard as people often make it. Often it’s just a matter of perspective. If you’ve been through a bitter and contentious separation, it can be difficult to move forward and redefine your relationship with an ex-spouse in a way that is positive. Perhaps the biggest symbolic step is moving out of your shared domicile. With planning and the help of a good divorce lawyer, this can be fairly simple.
If you are the one who will be moving out, or if both of you must move, here is a quick step-by-step guide to moving yourself out.
Step 1: Talk to an Attorney
This may seem a bit drastic, but keep in mind that whatever possessions you take with you can be part of something called a marital estate. Some things are exempt, meaning you don’t have to share them and they are not subject to division. But most things are. For instance, you may have plans to grab all the electronics, TVs and other expensive items. If you do this without proper planning, a divorce court judge could later make you pay your ex to offset the value. Just make sure you’ve planned for the transition and there is a written court order or agreement as to who gets what.
Step 2: Talk to your Ex
Yes, it can be tough to talk to someone you have divorced, but it’s very important that you do so. Make sure there are no misunderstandings or confusion about what you will be taking. People get strangely attached to physical possessions. In fact, some people fight just as hard over things like computers and video games as they would over child visitation. If there is any doubt or confusion, it needs to be reduced to writing in an agreement.
Step 3: Separate All Accounts
During your divorce, you will likely have closed any joint accounts and set up personal bank accounts. But don’t forget the following:
- Utility accounts
- Internet and cable bills
- Water bills
- Car insurance policies
- Cell phone accounts
- Lawn services
- Pest control
- Trash removal services
If you are both on these accounts, make sure to get your name off of any account for an address where you will no longer be living. This should have been handled during the divorce, but you should do a personal audit of all these things so that you don’t end up hung with a bill for services that you did not use.
Talking to an Attorney Early
One of the best things you can do if you are planning to move out of your marital residence is to talk to an attorney fast. In many cases, it is actually better to stay put and simply separate in place. Under Maryland law, often the person who moves out loses the home. If you don’t mind losing the home or if there are other reasons you need to get out faster, call a lawyer to discuss the pros and cons and potential long-term effects of your decision. Call The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. today to discuss further.