Exit Plan: Before Leaving Marital Residence – Part One

Exit Plan: Before Leaving Marital Residence Part Two

Continuing on considerations in preparing for divorce and leaving the marital residence:

Gathering Resources Before Moving Out

Whether you are the primary bread winner or a stay at home parent, you will need to survive after you leave and cannot leave the other parent penniless. Courts frown on such things. Do not completely wipe out bank accounts. Do not back a moving van up to the house and completely empty it. This is a time where being reasonable will serve you well in the long run.

The decisions about what to take from the marital residence or from existing bank accounts can be very tricky and can have a very serious impact on everything from that point forward. It is helpful if you can discuss this with an attorney in advance to assure, as best as possible, that what you take does not have a negative impact on you in the long run.

Remember that once you leave the marital residence, whoever earns the paycheck decides where that paycheck goes. If you are the primary wage earner, it will not be as difficult for you. If you are not the primary bread winner, this could be crippling. You will have only that which you have fairly gathered together until you start receiving some sort of support from your spouse for yourself and for the children if you have moved the children with you.

You must consider how much of your necessary budget will be covered by your own paycheck and resources you can gather. You need to decide what furniture to take, if any, what cash is available for you to take and whether there are credit cards and lines of credit which will be available to you after you move from the marital residence. Sometimes, once someone moves from the marital residence, the other party will act to cancel all charge cards that you expected to have available. Sometimes the remaining spouse will even act to cancel health insurance. This is another reason that it is wise to have an attorney as part of your team in planning your move from the marital residence so that someone is prepared to act on your behalf if these things start happening to you.

Even if you have the resources available from your own paycheck and accounts to make major purchases as part of this move, do not do it. This is a time to address any expenses very, very conservatively.

Dating: Do Not Date

Adultery, a married person having sexual intercourse with someone to whom they are not married, is a crime in New York, though it is rarely prosecuted. Often, the animosity in divorce actions is such that you can be assured that your dating will end up in divorce papers or testimony during trial. Claims of adultery in divorce action have little to no impact on property division or spousal support, though there are circumstances when these factors could be impacted. Best not to take the chance.


Moving from the marital residence is an extremely serious decision. Before doing so, barring an instant move for your safety or that of your children, you need to have a plan of departure. You need to know the rights and obligations that you lose or take on by the move. You need to have a financial plan in place so that you can survive and you need to know your rights and obligations regarding your children, if children are involved.

Should you move from the marital residence without a exit plan in place based on the above, you are risking and damaging certain of your rights and entitlements. Make a plan. Make it with competent, experienced counsel in advance of your move. Stick to your plan.

If you would like to consult on divorce planning and a proper exit plan, Contact Diana, or call 315-565-2760.