Jim has been married to Sally for about 15 years, and they have children, ages 3, 7 and 12 years old. Jim earns about $250,000 a year, while Sally has been a stay-at-home mom since the first child was born.
Jim has moved into the den and has been sleeping there for the past 2 months, and last month he filed for divorce and Sally has been served. Sally is angry, hurt and very vengeful. She did not want this marriage to terminate, and she can’t believe that Jim has filed for divorce. Once she is served with the divorce papers, she contacts her friends and they all tell her to go to an attorney right away…so she does.
In the attorney’s office, the conversation starts as follows:
Sally, “I want him OUT of the house, immediately!”
Attorney, “We can file a motion for exclusive use of the house, but the court will be reluctant to grant this unless we can prove that having him in the house is causing severe emotional harm to the children, or you, or unless we can prove that there is a reasonable fear of imminent physical harm”.
Jim has also gone to see his attorney. Once Sally was served he can’t stand living in the house. She is making his life miserable, he says, and he wants OUT. The conversation generally goes like this:
Jim, “I have to move out and find my own apartment/condo/house NOW. I cannot continue to live in this house. Sally follows me everywhere, and is yelling at me from the moment I get home from work to the moment I go into the den, and lock the door behind me. It is miserable, and I want OUT!”
Attorney, “Well, Jim, you can go ahead and move out if you want…but we are facing our first hearing date in 2 weeks, which will determine temporary child support, temporary spousal support, and a temporary allocation of debt, as well as attorney fees. By staying in the house, we have a chance of putting on HOLD your obligations of spousal and child support, which can save you up to $5,000 every month, until this matter is finally determined by a court, and which final determination can take up to a year or more. So, by staying in the house, and continuing to pay for everything you previously paid for, you can save around $60,000 in a year, while we wait for the trial date to come. If you move out, you will pay child support and spousal support, AND you will be paying for all of the expenses of the house that you pay for now AND you will be paying for your new home and the expenses related to that, AND you won’t see your children every day….Now…..can you find a way of sleeping in the den???”
So, Sally tries to get Jim out by way of the Motion that her attorney discussed, but the court was not buying the fact that Jim was anything other than just an annoyance (and determined that being annoying was not enough to move Jim out). And Jim made a financial decision to stay in the den, and just try to make himself as scarce as possible when in the house.
Both Sally and Jim have different needs and agendas, and it is imperative that they find experienced attorneys who can guide them through this crazy time. The attorneys at Joseph & Joseph, Co. LPA stand ready to assist you.