Do I Have to Move Out During a Divorce?

Every divorce is different and driven by its own circumstances, and that means that there is no one right answer for how it should be managed. When it comes to the marital home, in most cases you cannot be forced to leave unless you have been accused of domestic violence and a restraining order has been filed against you. Though one spouse may try to force the issue based on discomfort, anger, or simply wanting to move on, there are few occasions where the courts will make either party leave while divorce proceedings are pending. Still, that doesn’t mean that staying is in your best interests.

When making a decision whether to say in the marital home or leave, the first priority is always your safety. If you are in any type of jeopardy you need to leave. Beyond that obvious concern, there are several factors to be considered. Though your first instinct in the face of emotional upheaval may be to leave, there are plenty of reasons why that may not be your most strategic move.

  • Do you have children?

If you have children, moving out of the marital home without them will make it far more difficult for you to spend time with them, and leaving with them leaves you vulnerable to legal action by your spouse. Even if you want to leave, make sure that you have a temporary custody order in place.

  • Who pays the bills?

If you move out, you not only have to pay for your new living arrangements but also may be on the hook for the bills you were paying for the marital home too. As emotionally uncomfortable as remaining in the home may feel if you are responsible for household expenses you can’t escape them by leaving.

  • Do you have personal belongings in the home?

Most couples enter the marital home with a significant number of personal belongings that they have accumulated over the years, as well as things that they acquire together, their personal documents, and anything that belongs to children they may have. Leaving the home puts all of those items at risk and puts them out of your reach.

Moving out of the marital home is wrenching but staying may feel even worse. For help in determining which is the best legal answer for you, contact our experienced divorce attorneys today to set up a time to talk.