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Stay in the marital home during legal separation

One of the first things spouses may do when they decide to get divorced is to move out. However, Alaska spouses who move out of the marital home during legal separation could actually be making a mistake. This can make it more challenging to have any stake in getting back inside and gaining child custody.

In some cases, when the wife says that she wants to end the marriage, she may inform the husband that he will have to find somewhere else to go. Without hesitation, many men will oblige the wife and leave the home. Even if it was not his decision to get divorced in the first place, many men may believe they're obligated to leave. However, this is not necessarily a good idea and gives the wife the opportunity to claim that the man abandoned the family.

It's important for spouses to remember that they are under no obligation to move somewhere else, even if the other spouse is trying to bully them. The spouse who voluntarily moves out is unknowingly showing the court that staying around the children is not a priority, and doing so can make the spouse look less credible. Spouses who move out but do not have children can still find themselves in a financial bind and may be ordered to pay spousal support.

It's recommended for spouses to try to maintain living together during legal separation. Spouses may wish to move into another room and bypass any avoidable interactions with the other spouse. It's important for Alaska spouses to play an active role in their children's lives and try to make the living arrangements as peaceful as possible until the divorce is finalized. Doing so may reduce the chance of losing one's fair share in the marital home and, most importantly, reduce losing regular access to one's children.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Why Moving Out Is the Biggest Mistake in a Divorce", Joseph E. Cordell, June 19, 2014

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