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Should you move out of the family home in a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2023 | Family Law

Each party in a divorce is always careful about the moves they make. No one wants to make a decision that can lead to an unfavorable verdict. And one of the matters that soon-to-be ex-spouses pay close attention to is the family home.  

In Alabama, marital property is subject to equitable distribution. Thus, if you and/or your spouse purchased the home after the marriage, either party can get it. But does moving out ruin your chances?

Here are two aspects you should assess to determine if you should move out or not.

Safety concerns

If your marriage is non-abusive, you and your spouse can remain in the family home until the divorce is final – although you should have a frank discussion and some ground rules for how you will operate under the same roof respectfully. 

If your marriage has a history of abuse, which means you don’t feel safe around your spouse, you should consider asking the court for a protective order. That can force your spouse to leave the family home, rather than you.

Children and custody

Courts often seek to preserve the “status quo” of a family situation when they first see it through temporary orders, and temporary orders can become permanent – so consider your goals and situation carefully. Leaving the family home before you have a parenting plan and custody agreement in place could put you at a disadvantage.

Financial issues

Leaving before your divorce is final could be very expensive. You may have to continue paying bills for the family home even while you’re trying to afford a new place of your own. It may simply be more economical to stay in the family home, whenever possible, until the divorce is final.

Legal guidance can help to understand your options while protecting your peace in a divorce.