HI first time poster here, I searched for this topic and did not find anything so apologize if it has been asked before. My wife and I are ending a long-term marriage on a somewhat amicable basis. No infidelity or abuse. Custody will be joint 50-50 but initially my 50% will be in our house and I will be renting before finding a new house (estimated 3-6 months maximum). We are starting to draft an agreement but will take a few weeks minimum and probably longer based on the average). All the advice I am getting is NOT to move out before the agreement is signed e.g. is because it can be a sign of abandonment if it turns ugly/sour or because of financial issues being jointly liable. Question what are the potential repercussions, and is there some temporary agreement that can be signed to avoid the pitfalls without the full formal agreement?
This is a difficult question to answer because the facts of each case are different. There are certain implications of moving out of the home. Your spouse could claim abandontment, which has implications for alimony. Although things seem amicable now, I would ask your wife to sign and non-abandonment agreement that basically states that both parties acknowledge that there was no abandonment if you chose to move out before the agreement is in place. If you do decide to leave, you’ll also want to be sure you take everything with you. Once you leave the marital residence you cannot return unless your wife consents, or you may face prosecution under our Domestic Criminal Trespass Statute.