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If you’re getting divorced, should you move out of the house?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | divorce

You’ve decided to file from divorce from your spouse, and you know it’s going to take time. You can’t imagine the two of you simply living together for months while you go through this divorce, so you decide that one of you is going to have to move out.

Is this what you should do at this time? Or are there any potential problems that could come up if you do leave the home?

You can move out, but you don’t have to

The first thing to know is that you do have a legal right to live in the house if you own that home. For instance, say you and your spouse bought it together and both of your names are on the mortgage and the deed. Your spouse can’t tell you that you have to leave just because you filed for divorce. They have no legal standing to kick you out, just as you can’t kick them out. So you can choose to move out if you want, but just know that you don’t have to move out if you would rather stay.

Moving may make things easier

With that in mind, moving out certainly can make this process easier. The two of you are going to have to find your own places to live eventually anyway, and you can reduce the conflict by doing this in advance. It is important to keep careful records of this, as the day of your separation can be used when determining how to divide assets. In other words, assets that you acquire in your new home likely won’t have to be split with your spouse, even though you’re technically still married.

It can also lead to some complications

That said, moving out could make things more complicated in other ways. For instance, you’re still on the mortgage, but you’re not living in the home. What if your spouse doesn’t pay the mortgage on time? You can still be liable. Or perhaps you were the one who always handled maintenance and upkeep. Now that no one is doing that, is the value of your home going to drop right before you sell it during the property division process?

All of this can get very complicated, so make sure you know exactly what legal rights you have and what steps you’re going to need to take during your divorce.