Moving out of the Matrimonial home

Our top 4 factors to consider when moving out of the matrimonial home

Moving out is a difficult task at the best of times. Leaving the matrimonial home following a separation can often bring added difficulties because the move is usually unplanned, and emotionally driven. Often the priority is leaving a relationship that has broken down rather than considering the practicality of moving out.

Here are some to factors to consider when moving out following separation:

1. Finding the right fit 

This can be especially important if you have children when separating. When re-accommodating yourself after separation it is important to find somewhere that has sufficient space, meets your budget and is ideally in close proximity to the children’s school and the other parent. This will allow you to maximise the time you spend with the children and allow you to provide them with a safe space to spend time with you. Similarly, once separated, parents often have to arrange for changeover to occur at their respective residences or at school pickup and drop off. It is important that you are in a position to facilitate changeover as best you can. Parties often benefit from shorter travel time and being able to easily access each other and the children’s school.

2. Furniture 

When one person moves out of the matrimonial home, it is uncommon that we see them take furniture with them. This may be for many practical reasons, such as the person moving is forced to downsize or the person remaining in the property simply needing everything that is there. Before you move out, consider the expense associated with re-establishing yourself and whether it will be a financial burden for you moving forward. If you cannot afford to purchase new (or second-hand) furniture, it may assist you to attempt to reach agreement with your ex as to splitting the furniture before you move out. If moving the furniture physically will be too difficult, it may be appropriate to split some joint funds so that the party moving is able to do so with some financial assistance.

3. Sentimental items 

Contrary to furniture, sentimental items are often part of the move when parties separate. When moving out after separation we encourage parties to take sentimental items such as jewellery and photos that may be difficult to replace. If you are taking items that are sentimental to both of you (such as children’s photos), we suggest that you make copies of the items and share in the costs of doing so.

4. Bills, bills, bills 

When you move out of the matrimonial home, you should consider whether you are still responsible for meeting the costs of the former matrimonial property. These bills can add up when you are meeting the costs of a new residence while also thinking about payment of the mortgage, council and water rates and home and contents insurance for the property you have moved out of.

Unfortunately, even after you have moved out your name will still be on the title of the property and likely the mortgage. If one party continually fails to meet the repayments, it may result in a negative mark against your name and impact upon your credit rating even if you haven’t been residing in the home. Generally, the person living in the property should meet the costs associated with it, otherwise it is likely that the property should be sold. However, if the party living in the property is unable to meet the repayments alone, in some cases the ex-partner may be required to provide some kind of financial assistance in the interim. This will be completely dependent on each individual’s circumstances.

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If you found this article useful, you may also like to read Separated Couples Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts

If you have any questions or should you need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us at Southern Waters Legal.