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Should I Move Out of the Marital Home During My Divorce?

With a divorce looming, it can be tense to remain living in the marital home with your spouse.  Understandably, one of the spouses will often want to leave the home before the divorce is finalized.  However, moving out of the marital home before the divorce is complete could potentially have implications for your legal rights to the home in the long run.  Our Midland, Texas divorce lawyers discuss some of the potential consequences of moving out of the marital home pre-divorce.

Moving Out and Child Custody

For parents with minor children, moving out of the marital home could have effects on custody.  Typically, one spouse will remain in the home with the children, should the couple elect to part ways before the divorce is final.  Courts will usually want to allow the children to remain in the marital home as the divorce is pending and beyond.  This could lend favor to granting the spouse still living in the home temporary custody of the kids, which may then extend to permanent custody.  While there are certainly ways to fight for your custody rights should circumstances demand you leave the home, you will want to speak to your lawyer before doing so if minor children are involved. 

Moving Out and Division of Property 

Moving out of the marital home should not influence how the home is divided, since you will still be a co-owner of the home.  However, it could affect possession of the home and potentially you could lose control over the home and the assets within it.  When the judge makes a decision on whether either spouse will be allowed to remain in the home post-divorce, you being out of the house already could certainly weigh towards awarding your ex continued possession of the home or ownership of the home, with your financial portion being offset with other assets.  If you care about living in the home long term, moving out could come at your detriment.

Should you have any questions about what actions you should or should not take as you prepare to file for divorce, be sure to contact your divorce lawyer.  Your divorce attorney will serve as your sounding board and giver of legal advice throughout the divorce process.