Divorce is something that will significantly change the lives of both spouses. When a couple is considering divorce, many questions are raised. These include where each spouse will live, who will stay in the primary residence, and who will pay the mortgage as well as associated costs. The resolution to this issue can be especially difficult for couples who have children or major financial problems. Many clients ask the question, “Do I have to move out of my own home after divorce is filed?” The short answer, no.
Obviously for most people, emotions will be running high after a divorce is filed. It can certainly be an uncomfortable situation residing together while a divorce is pending. In some situations, family violence might even occur. However, it is not required by law that both spouses to live separately during divorce. Spouses are legally permitted to live together during, and even after divorce proceedings if they so desire to do so. Also, a spouse will not usually be penalized during divorce proceedings if he or she decides to move out. If you move out of your home during divorce, it will not be considered abandonment and it should not generally impact your legal situation.
In some situations it is best to remain in your home as long as possible because it enhances your negotiation and settlement abilities during the divorce. If your spouse wants you to move out, you do not have to leave. In fact, remaining in the home will likely result in the parties concluding their divorce sooner than if they are living separately. Where the parties reside can certainly be a motivation factor for ending it quickly. If children are involved, some couples choose to remain living together in order to preserve the status quo, while other couples live separately to protect their children from the tension between parents.
Make no mistake, the court has the power to exclude a spouse from the marital residence. If family violence occurs or one spouse is being psychologically abusive, the law authorizes a judge to order a spouse to have exclusive use of the marital residence while the case is pending. The court can require either spouse to continue making the mortgage payments and other associated costs. If a divorce is filed, do not let the emotions get out of hand or you can find yourself in a situation where you are paying for your home and temporary residence at the same time.
In conclusion, a spouse is not required to move out of their home just because a divorce has been filed. In fact, it is likely going to be advantageous to remain in the home, if possible, in order to retain negotiation leverage. However, if the situation becomes abusive, a spouse can successfully request the court for exclusive use of the marital residence while the case is pending. Every situation is different. Contact the Law Office of Dan Kirby to discuss your divorce case so that you will understand your rights as relates to residing in your home while divorce is pending.