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Steps to Take When Preparing For Divorce

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Don't Make a Move

The most common question I get from clients considering divorce is whether or not they can move out of the house. Unless there is abuse I normally tell them to stay where they are. There are many reasons for not leaving the marital home. The most important are:

  • It could affect the interest you have in the property. If you move out and your spouse pays the mortgage the entire time your divorce case is pending a judge may factor that into any decision he/she makes about property distribution. If the situation becomes too stressful and you feel you have to move try to continue to pay a portion of the mortgage payment. Document well any payments you make toward the mortgage.
  • If you have school-aged children and you hope to be able to remain in the marital home until they finish school the last thing you want to do is leave the home. If your spouses income in greater than your income and you want to negotiate him paying the mortgage or part of the mortgage you lose your ability to negotiate keeping the home once you leave the home. Stay put!

Moving out of the marital home can have a negative impact on your case. Do not do it without first discussing the issue with your attorney. In some states, a judge will consider a motion from your attorney for temporary possession of the marital home pending divorce court. You can discuss this option with your attorney.

If there is abuse and you are unable to get an order of temporary possession then it is imperative to take whatever steps you need to protect yourself. Leave the home if you feel you are in danger. If there is a history of domestic violence discuss it with your attorney because he may be able to legally have your husband removed from the marital home.

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