If you and your spouse have decided to get divorced, it can be uncomfortable and inconvenient to continue living together. It is normal to want to begin your new life as soon as possible by moving out. Whether or not you should move out of your house before a divorce, however, depends on the circumstances. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your decision.
Does Moving Out Affect Your Divorce Case?
Moving out of your house can affect your divorce in a few different ways. First, it can establish a date of separation. Moving out can mean that you have officially separated. This is relevant, as the courts will look at the date of separation to determine separate vs. community property. In this way, moving out could benefit you. Any income or assets you acquire after you move out may be classified as your separate property, keeping it safe from division with your spouse in a divorce.
Moving out also will not hurt your claim to the family home. Choosing to move out does not mean you are giving the home to your spouse in the divorce. The courts will determine the division of property based on what is fair and equitable according to the circumstances. This may mean giving the house to one or both of you. The courts will not automatically give your ex-spouse the house because you moved out.
Finally, moving out may or may not impact child custody. If you had no choice but to move out due to a domestic violence situation, the courts will take this into account. Otherwise, it is important to establish a parenting plan with your estranged spouse, along with a written agreement that the parent who moves out isn’t forfeiting any parental rights by doing so. This can help ensure your move does not interfere with child custody or visitation.
Can You Force Your Spouse to Move Out?
In rare circumstances, you may be able to force your spouse to move out of your shared home during a divorce. Typically, the only circumstance where this is allowed is if your spouse is engaging in abusive behavior. Otherwise, the only other possibility to force your spouse to move out is if you own the house on your own and it is not part of community property. This entitles you to decide whether or not your spouse can continue living there.
If you are in a domestic violence situation and do not feel safe in your home, do what is necessary to keep you and your children safe. If you have the financial resources to move out of your house, do so. Otherwise, you can ask the courts to assist you in forcing your estranged spouse to move out of the house instead.
In a divorce case that involves domestic violence or abuse, you have the right to obtain court orders for solutions such as temporary full custody of children and an emergency protective order. A protective order can force your ex-spouse to stay away from you and move out of the house. If you believe you or your children are in danger during a divorce case, consult with an attorney immediately for emergency safety measures before moving out.
Is Moving Out the Right Choice for You?
Your divorce case can take months or even years to be resolved. In this time, you or your spouse may decide it’s best for one of you to move out. However, it is important to analyze the benefits and potential risks of moving out to your divorce case before leaving your family home. You have to consider not only your physical and mental wellbeing when making your choice, but also the potential legal ramifications.
Each divorce case is unique. Get help from a Colorado divorce attorney to make the best decision for you and your family. A lawyer can answer your questions and concerns related to finances, property division, child custody and more when deciding whether or not to move out of your house before a divorce.