Should I Move Out Of The Marital Home During Divorce?

On behalf of South Tampa Law Group posted in property division on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.

Many people who go through divorce face an immediate question concerning their house. Should they move out?

Answering the question can be complicated. Living with your spouse during a divorce can be stressful. However, moving out could raise complications in your divorce case.

Can I stay in the marital home?

Under Georgia law, both you and your spouse have the right to live in the marital house unless the judge orders one of you to leave.

Leaving the house before your divorce is final does not mean you are abandoning the house. It is still a marital asset, subject to equitable division. However, you should discuss with a lawyer the effect that moving out could have on other aspects of your divorce case, such as child custody.

What if I am a victim of domestic violence?

If you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse, it’s important to obtain a protection order as soon as possible. If you obtain a protection order, that order may stipulate that your spouse leave the house and not return while the order is in effect.

What if I am falsely accused of domestic violence?

Unfortunately, a spouse may use a protection order as a way to kick you out of the house. In Georgia, your spouse can obtain a protection order against you simply by persuading a judge that he or she is in need of protection. The judge will schedule a hearing, usually within two weeks, to determine if the protection order should be permanent. It is important to have a lawyer represent you at this hearing. A permanent protection order can have a negative effect on your divorce and your life.

Do I still have to make house payments if I move out?

The court could order you to continue making mortgage payments, even though you are not living in the house.