Moving Out After a Separation

To apply for a divorce, you and your spouse must be separated for a minimum of 12 continuous months. Both of you can remain in the family home while being separated, but generally, one of you will move out. Moving out of the family home is a different scenario than moving house as a family. How can you prepare for this?


Moving out after a separation can often mean downsizing. Your new home might not be as large as your shared family home, since you might be living there by yourself, perhaps with your children living part time with you, depending on your custody arrangements. It's not as though you will need all your existing furniture, and when physical ownership of your possessions has yet to be officially determined, you might not even be able to take all that much.


Still, you will be taking key items with you. Some items will be undeniably yours, such as clothing. Other items, such as furniture, will need to be discussed. Hopefully the relationship between you and your spouse remains amiable so you can actually discuss which items will be moved to your new home. If you suspect that there might be problems further down the line pertaining to ownership of these items, get it in writing that your spouse has granted permission.

Your Removalists

Although it's a sensitive matter, you should still inform your removalists about the nature of your move. They might be used to asking anyone in the household for clarification about the job (as needed), so it helps if they know that all queries should be directed to you. Given the fact that not everything inside the home is to be removed, the items to be transported should be clearly marked. You can simply tape a note to each item to be removed, using special no-residue duct tape, which won't harm varnish or upholstery.

Your Children

You and your spouse will also need to discuss your custody arrangements. When your children will be living with you part time at your new home, some of their possessions will also need to be removed. It's not as though the entirety of their bedrooms will need to be loaded onto the moving van, since these items need to remain where they are, but clothing and some personal items will need to be moved, making it easier for your children to divide their time between two homes.

Moving home can be a complicated affair, and there are additional emotional complications when you're moving out due to a separation. It's best to be as prepared as you can be.