Once you know your marriage is over one of the next milestones is separating: either you or your STBX needs to move out. Two Kids and a Fish was certain they were going to lose their home and given her abusive relationship with her STBX it made sense for her to be the one to leave. Here’s how it went down:
I told him two weeks before that I was leaving on this date and I got kind of the same you know, “Hmmm. Alright. Whatever.” He didn’t try to stop me. He did nothing. I don’t know if he didn’t believe me.
On the day that I left, he and my youngest left in the morning to go do something and when they left I just started packing and putting as much stuff in my car as possible. My oldest daughter packed her car. I had used every single penny I had for the deposit, the first month’s, and last month’s rent on a new house and all the utilities. I had $50 to my name but I couldn’t use it because that would close out my checking account, my new checking account that was in my name.
My daughter had just started working so she had like $100, $150 in her account. She used that money to go get a U-haul so that we could at least take the sofa and I took the washer and dryer. That’s it. I didn’t take any other furniture. My daughter took her mattress and bed. She had a whole bedroom set-armoire, dresser, and headboard. We didn’t take any of that. I left my master bedroom furniture. I left all the kitchen stuff, the cookware, the Tupperware, everything. I took three forks, three knives, three spoons, three plates, three cups. I didn’t want to get into an argument about did you take this, did you take that, where is this, where is that.
In fact, the very next day he called and said, “Did you take the crock pot? Did you take the slow cooker?”
I sent him a text when I was moving everything out and I asked when he was coming home. He said he was at his mom and why. I replied that I was moving out and I needed my youngest daughter. He came home right away. He didn’t talk to me. He didn’t say a word. He sat there on the loveseat that I didn’t take. And that’s it. He sat there and watched TV while we were around him packing our cars and the U-haul. It was just the strangest thing ever. It was horrible. At one point when he thought it was just he and my oldest daughter in the house he started yelling at her, cursing at her and attacking her verbally. I came into the living room and confronted him about that and he just shut up, went back, sat down and watched TV.
That night his sister showed up with like $100, $200 of groceries and the next morning, his parents and his brother and wife showed up with cookware, towels, silverware, you name it. I never asked for any of this. It was just a sign of how much they supported us and supported me.
I realize I said in the intro that moving out is one of the next milestones but it doesn’t always happen that way. I do think it’s less stressful for everyone if one spouse does move out but agreeing who it should be is sometimes very difficult, sometimes impossible. The legal process may follow a chronological order but everything else will follow the order that you and your STBX create and that could mean you and your STBX living separately under the same roof for months. It could also mean telling your STBX about the divorce and moving out in the same conversation.
A word of caution: if you are in an abusive relationship either emotionally or physically and you have any concerns for your safety or that of your children do call your local domestic abuse hotline before you talk to your spouse about divorce or moving out. These are trained professionals who can help you plan this conversation and your move. They will advise you how to do this safely. Don’t think you’re being a nuisance—this is why the hotlines exist.
Two Kids and A Fish wasn’t concerned about the marital home, neither she nor her STBX would be keeping it so that didn’t really figure into the decision of who should move. However, if it seems likely that one of you will be keeping the marital home you should talk to an attorney before moving out. Some judges may look unfavorably on the person who moves out when it comes to child custody. Another consideration is that if you have lived in your home for some time your children may feel more inclined to stay there than go to a new home and this means that they may favor spending time with whichever parent stays in the home. I think there are ways to overcome this but it’s worth thinking about especially if the new home is going to be at a significantly different standard than the marital home.
There is no way round it, whether it’s you or your STBX who’s moving out it’s an awkward, emotional, stressful day. If you find yourself putting it off, then ask why? What’s holding you back? Under what conditions could you move out?
Swati had already filed for divorce and thought she was required by law to stay in the marital home until the divorce was final. The harassment from her STBX got so bad she finally moved out during the day without telling him she was going.
Emma left her husband on her lunch break, again without telling him ahead of time and leaving him a Dear John letter.
Find the way that’s going to work for you.
How did you and your STBX decide who would move? How did it feel on moving day? Was your STBX there? How about your children?
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