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Can I leave my marital home before my divorce is finalized?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Divorce

Even the most amicable divorce results in its share of tension. The gut reaction for most couples during these emotional times is to leave the home they share with their soon-to-be ex as soon as possible. But is this always a great idea?

No two divorce cases are the same. That said, here are three things you need to know when contemplating whether to leave your marital home or not.

Your spouse cannot compel you to leave

Sometimes, one spouse may threaten or harass the other into vacating their home. However, it is important to understand that the law protects you. If your spouse is threatening you and your children, or if you believe they might harm you, then you need to gather evidence and raise your concerns with the court. Depending on the nature of the threat, the court may issue an order of protection against them and may grant you the right to remain in the home while barring your spouse from the same.

Leaving can actually work against you

Leaving your marital home before concluding your divorce will not impact your parental rights and obligations. However, it can impact the outcome of your custody case if you leave the kids behind under the care of the other parent. Rarely does the court disrupt the status quo as far as the child’s custody is concerned. Thus, if the other parent has full custody of the kids while you are gone, rarely would the court interfere with this arrangement and award sole or primary custody to you.

Leaving your home may come with a financial price

You need money to find and furnish a new home. This also means that you might end up supporting two households, and this can take a toll on your finances.

Protecting your interests

The decision to stay or leave your marital home is one that you should never take likely. That said, learning more about your rights and obligations during the divorce can help you protect your rights moving forward. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.