May 9

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

I couldn’t believe my ears when I asked my family law client (I’ll call her Barb) why she had chosen to hire me as her family law lawyer. Naturally, I had assumed that my charm, combined with my razor sharp intellect, had won the day for Barb. Boy was I wrong! (I’m hoping not about the charm and the intellect)

The real reason Barb decided to hire me over the several other family lawyers she had consulted with? I was the only one who had told Barb that she could leave the family home!

What was especially surprising was the fact that Barb had evidence to believe that her spouse had subjected her to prolonged surveillance by tracking her location, and recording her conversations. In effect Barb had been feeling, for years, like a prisoner in her own home, with no hope, or plan, for a way out of her predicament.

If Barb’s story sounds like yours, (even if your reasons for wanting to leave the family home are different), here’s the legal information you need to know.

Firstly, you will not be considered a “bad” spouse, or parent, should you decide to leave the family home, and any children. The old concept of blame has long been removed as a material factor in family law matters. The one downside however, if there are children, is the challenge of working out issues of interim access.

Secondly, there is an urban myth which scares people into believing that should they “abandon” the family home they automatically relinquish some financial interest as a consequence. This is also inaccurate. Your legal interest in the family home, or any family asset, will not be influenced by whether you walked away from it or not.

So I hope this legal information helps you to answer the question, should you stay, or should you go now. It certainly did for Barb.