There Are Three Stages To Moving Out: Scatter, Adapt, and Patience

three stages moving Darwin

Upon first moving out of the marital residence, you will be thrown into a brand new life, a whole new “normal”.  The three components or stages described here are from the personal experience of the creator of this website.  This advice will not apply to everyone because it’s specifically aimed toward those divorcees who had to move out of the marital residence upon separation.

  1. The first stage experienced was the dissolution or “scattering” of the family.  This stage is chaotic and involves a huge transition from one life to another.  Not only is your family physically scattered, but you’ll likely feel emotionally scattered as well.  You won’t have the security of knowing where you stand with your family and mutual friends from the marriage.  It also isn’t likely that you’ll have a secure place to live upon leaving the marital residence. You might be staying with a friend or relative, or renting an apartment that you didn’t put too much time into selecting.  It isn’t likely that you’ll have another home quite like the one you were living in upon separation.
  2. The next stage is adapting to your new life after separation.  Once you’ve moved out, each day you’ll become more and more accustomed to your new living situation.  You’ll be more used to not seeing your ex-spouse or possibly even your children every day.  You’ll start to acquire new things for your new living arrangement and possibly start adapting to new ways of living that are very different from when you were married.  You’ll no longer need to seek the approval of your spouse when buying bath towels or anything else for your home, which could be confusing at first.  We don’t realize how many decisions we make collectively within a marriage until we’re no longer in it.
  3. Adapting to your new life after moving out will understandably take time and also patience; patience being the third and final stage of moving out.  It’s normal to feel low and humiliated when moving out of the marital residence.  You must be patient with this by realizing that you will adapt to your new living situation and overcome the negativities with time.

Show resilience by being productive each day and by knowing that you’re doing your best to make your life more positive.  With patience and resilience, you will soon discover the tide will turn.

Go To Court Immediately After You Or Your Spouse Leaves The Marital Residence

file in court

It’s suggested that you or your spouse go to court and begin the necessary paperwork for a separation or divorce on the same day as one of you leaves the marital residence.   You’ll want to have documentation of the day you separated, especially if you live in a state that requires a certain time frame of separation prior to gaining a legal divorce.  Claiming that you separated on a specific date is only valid if it was documented in writing, and the best way to do this is by filing for a divorce or separation immediately after one of you leaves the marital residence.  This is also important if you’re the one leaving and you have children from the marriage, as this documentation is proof of your reason for leaving the family home.  Your ex could accuse you of abandonment or neglect if you leave without a documented reason behind it.  Your ex could also claim that you never informed him or her of wanting to separate before leaving the marital home in order to portray you in a negative light to the court.  This kind of issue would likely come up when discussions of child custody arise if your ex seeks primary or sole custody of the children.

In order to surpass the potentially negative consequences associated with leaving the marital residence, make it a point to file for separation or divorce as soon as possible.

Legal Separation May Be The First Step In The Divorce Process

legal separation

Depending on which state you live in, a legal separation may have to occur prior to getting an actual divorce.  You or your spouse can file for a legal separation as soon as one of you has left the marital residence.  In order to attain a legal separation when you have children from the marriage, you will need to come to a separation agreement with your ex.  This agreement will establish parameters concerning child custody, child support, and parental visitation.  You cannot attain a legal separation without the consent of your spouse.

Some states do not allow a legal separation and you’re considered legally married until your divorce is finalized.  Check with the divorce laws in your state concerning legal separation.  If you’re in a state that doesn’t allow legal separation, you must first file for a divorce before you can apply for a temporary separation from your spouse.  You can still leave the marital residence without being legally separated, but your legal status will not be ‘single’ until the divorce is completed.

Whether you hold the label of ‘separated’ or ‘married’ doesn’t matter as far as your actual relationship is concerned.  When you know that a relationship is over, it’s over, and a label won’t change that.

You And Your Spouse Are Not Allowed To Destroy Or Damage Marital Property Against Each Other’s Will Or Without Court Approval

damaged property

If you leave the marital residence but cannot take all of your belongings with you, your ex is not allowed to destroy, damage, or remove the property without first getting your consent or court approval.  The argument may arise that you took too long to gather your things, but this will likely not hold up in a court of law.  If being around your belongings is bothering your ex, he or she can file a complaint with the court to get those things removed in one way or another.

By no means should you do anything to destroy or damage any property belonging to your ex OR property that was shared while you were married.  Keep in mind that all property shared during the marriage, even if you bought it with your own money for just yourself, is considered marital property, and therefore could be subject to equitable distribution.   If any of this property is destroyed, you could be held liable for it, and have to pay much more than what the property was actually worth.

During a divorce, it’s important to be cautious in all areas of your life because there are new rules that apply.

The Average Cost Of A Divorce Is $20,000!

expensive divorce

According to, $20,000 is the average cost of a divorce in the United States.  This can run even higher when you factor in spousal support, legal fees, equitable distribution, and various other financial matters that come up during a divorce.

Although there are many marriages that have both spouses earning an income, there is usually a primary earner or someone who makes the bulk of the family’s income.  With this common scenario, the primary earner is at risk of having to pay the bulk of the legal fees, as well as spousal support and other fees.  The spouse who is considered less financially able will also be out more money than he or she will likely anticipate.  People tend to assume that they will gain a large fortune from divorcing their high-earning spouse, but this isn’t as likely as what we see in the media.

Right away, the cost of living doubles when one spouse leaves the marital residence.  Now there are two residences with separate bills, taxes, and supplies that are needed to run both households.    When getting paid alimony, this money is also taxed as extra income, which is something the person receiving it may not take into account at first.

Many people wait to get divorced or decide not to go through with a divorce altogether based solely on the cost associated with it.  Before getting a divorce, it’s wise to do your research and speak with your accountant about the financial risks involved.  If you go into a divorce knowing its estimated cost, you will be able to plan for it and encounter less stress than if you’re taken by surprise.