When can someone move out?


My husband and I have agreed to separate and divorce. We have two children of whom we would like to share custody. We also prefer to have an amicable settlement.

We would like to begin our separation by having one of us move out as soon as possible. However, from what we have read, it is inadvisable for one of us to move out without first consulting with an attorney.

Is this an absolute? What does a mere consultation gain us if documents are not signed right away? (Or are documents signed prior to one leaving the home)

What are our real options for moving forward with the beginning of our separation?


The reason they advise a consultation is because it’s recommended you have some type of separation agreement in place to spell out visitation, payment of marital bills and custody.

As amicable as you want the separation/divorce to be, there is bound to be SOME point of contention that comes up. If he leaves and you stay in the house, are you willing to pay all the bills? Will you be able to trust him to pay his share of the marital debt?

Speaking from experience…once separation happens, you can NOT trust anyone to do what they say they’re going to do. It is in your (and his) best interest to have an agreement drawn up. You can do it yourselves…very amicably. But it needs to be done to protect you and him.

In my opinion, it’s irresponsible NOT to have something in place agreement wise. Verbal agreements do not stand up in court (if it should ever come to that).


If you and your spouse are truly in agreement with respect to how you will share custody of the children, it is fine for one of you to move out. I would suggest having the custody arrangement spelled out in a signed and notarized agreement ( that you have read and are sure you understand )before you move.
There are sample separation agreements on this site which you may look at and consider entering into before you begin living apart from your spouse. I do highly recommend that you do meet with an attorney prior to entering into any agreement regarding your property, or spousal support.