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Does one spouse need to move out during a divorce?

| Apr 15, 2021 | Divorce

Your spouse tells you that they want a divorce. You understand, and you knew it was coming. But then they tell you that they’re glad you agree — and they expect you to move out the following day. 

This is where you take a step back and ask a few questions. Why should you have to move out? Why not your spouse? Does either one of you actually have to leave the home?

Do you own the home together?

First, there’s one important factor to consider: Do you and your spouse own the home together? If you have a mortgage, have you both been paying for it? Is the home in both of your names?

If so, neither one of you has the right to kick the other person out. Your spouse can ask you to leave (and you may feel like it’s awkward to stay), but this is far different than being obligated to leave. The home is your property and you can stay for as long as you like — as long as the court doesn’t order you to vacate the premises. 

In fact, some believe that moving out is a huge mistake. Moving out may impact how the divorce plays out, as it could look like you’ve abandoned your family. It could also make it appear that your spouse is the primary caretaker for your children, not you. 

What should you do?

Living in the same home as your spouse as your marriage ends may feel awkward, but you have to ask yourself how much risk leaving poses to your future goals. Whether you move out or not, just be sure you understand how it can impact your legal options. Talking the situation over with an attorney can help you gain clarity about your choices.