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Should You Move Out of the Marital Home in a Divorce?

Posted by Furman & Zavatsky | Aug 08, 2018

If you are getting divorced in Los Angeles County, you have probably considered whether you should move out of the marital home or not.  Clearly, in every case of separation and divorce, one or both spouses will eventually need to move out of the marital home.

Moving out of marital home in a divorce

However, whether and when to move out of your marital home is not only a complex emotional issue, but it can also be a highly strategic decision as well.  Prior to making a decision, there are several important factors to consider.

In most divorce cases, your marital home is most likely a significant asset. In fact, it's probably the most significant asset. Therefore, it's reasonable that both divorcing spouses would have concern that if they just abandon the marital home, it could make it difficult for the spouse that decides to leave to make any type of claim on the home in their divorce settlement.

In Los Angeles divorce cases where both parties claim ownership of the home, could their ownership potentially be jeopardized if they move out? This is a very common question.

All Los Angeles divorce lawyers know that if the marital home were acquired during the marriage, it would be considered a marital asset that will be subjected to distribution in spite of which spouse stays in the home during the divorce process.

In divorce cases where money is not a major issue, many divorce attorneys will frequently advise their clients to separate physically during the divorce process. Of course, this means they will need to move out of their home. Our experience in divorce cases has been that creating some distance between both spouses will often create a much better environment and attitude while going through the divorce steps.

It's important to note that when one spouse makes the decision to move out of the marital home, there must be serious talk and negotiation between the spouses on the status of the marital home. These discussions should include the maintenance and financial obligations involving the home during the steps of the divorce.

Other issues that will need to be discussed include property left in the home, whether one spouse will have sole possession, whether the remaining spouse will have an expectation of privacy, and whether the spouse who moved out will be entitled to use the home during certain periods after leaving.

As you can see, many decisions will need to be made when deciding whether to move out of the marital home. In addition to the issues raised above, many other factors will determine whether you should move out or not, including the following:

  • Whether you have minor children living in the marital home
  • Whether it is an important objective of yours to keep the marital home in the divorce
  • Whether your partner has committed domestic violence against you. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you might be able to obtain a kick out order during your California divorce.

If you're going through a divorce, you need to consult with the Los Angeles divorce and family law lawyers at Furman & Zavatsky. Our attorneys will need to closely review the details of your situation in order to plan an effective strategy for the best possible outcome of your divorce.

Our law firm offers a free consultation by calling our office at 818-528-3471. Let's take a closer look below at other very important factors to consider in making a decision on whether to move out of a marital home.

Considering Minor Children

If you have minor children living in your marital home and you move out, this can be presented by your ex-spouse as the abandonment of your children. If your ex-spouse is seeking custody of your minor children, moving out of the home could be the ammunition your ex-spouse needs to present you to the court as an uncaring, uninvolved parent.

If it is your intention to retain custody of your minor children after the divorce, it is not advisable to move out of the marital home unless a situation exists that makes staying in your marital home dangerous to your health.

Keeping the Marital Home After Divorce

If the marital home has special meaning to you and you want to keep it in the divorce, then it likewise makes sense to stay living in the marital home to demonstrate that it is important to you and you will not give it up willingly. A marital home is often a family's largest asset.

If you are living in the marital home, particularly with minor children, a Los Angeles County family law court judge will be less likely to order the sale and partition of proceeds of the marital home.

Instead, you may be granted the right to reside in the home with your minor children. If your objective is to keep the marital home, then it makes sense to stay in the marital home during the divorce proceeding despite the discomfort it might cause if your ex-spouse is also residing in it.

Protecting Your Personal Goods in the Marital Home

All of your personal effects are kept at your marital home, so you may be inclined to stay in the marital home to make sure your personal effects are kept safe. If your goal is to keep your personal effects safe, then it is advisable to document your items and move them out of the marital home so that your ex-spouse cannot access them. If your personal effects are removed from the property, you do not necessarily need to reside in the marital home unless one of the aforementioned reasons exists.

Tips for Residing in the Marital Home During Divorce

If both you and your ex-spouse continue to reside in the marital home during the divorce, you may consider setting up rules or a schedule for how the marital home is used. Such rules can prevent uncomfortable situations that might arise, but both spouses have to be willing to abide by the rules.

If both spouses are not on board with the rules revolving around the use of the marital home, then the situation may quickly deteriorate, and one spouse may end up needing to leave the marital home.

The Occurrence of Domestic Violence

If your ex-spouse is violent and has committed domestic violence against you, it is a good idea to leave the marital home, but only if you cannot get your ex-spouse out of the home through legal means and you have no other options.

If your spouse is committing domestic violence against you, it is important to speak with our Los Angeles divorce attorneys so charges can be pressed against your ex-spouse and they can be removed from the marital home for your safety.

If this cannot be achieved, then it is understandable to move out of the marital home during the divorce. Your divorce attorney can explain the situation to the judge to ameliorate the effect of moving out of the marital home despite your desire to keep the property in the divorce.

If you are deciding whether to continue living in your marital home during your divorce or not, it is important to discuss the impact of leaving the marital home during the divorce with our family law and divorce attorneys.

Leaving the marital home can harm your position when it comes to the custody of minor children and the division of the home. Still, it may also be advisable if domestic abuse occurs and your health is at risk.

If you are getting divorced and are considering leaving your marital home, contact the Los Angeles divorce attorneys at Furman & Zavatsky at 818-528-3471. Leaving the marital home is a big step, and it is necessary to be properly advised before you make such a decision.

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