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Moving Out of the Marital Home During a Divorce

The Marital Home — Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Your marital home is often a place of comfort and refuge, a place where memories have been made, a thing with which you are emotionally connected.

So, when a couple decides that a divorce is necessary, it is often extremely difficult to determine whether or not you should move out of your marital home.

Whether or not this is the best decision for you will largely depend on the specific details of your situation.

Safety in the Marital Home

When dealing with a divorce, your safety and protection are always the most important consideration.

If there has been an instance of domestic violence or you feel as if there is potential for some sort of violence, you should seriously consider getting out of the marital home, at least on a temporary basis.

In addition to this, a protective order requesting that an abusive spouse be forced from the marital home should be contemplated as a potential course of action.

Moving Out of the Marital Home — What It Says

If you move from your marital home on a temporary basis during the pendency of the trial, the courts will not necessarily award your spouse the marital home at the final trial.

While moving out of your marital home may suggest to the court that you have the means to reside in another place during the pendency of the divorce, ultimately, a judge must make a division of property that is deemed equitable.

Thus, if your spouse is awarded the marital home, you will receive either money or some other property of comparable value.

Children in the Marital Home

If you and your spouse share children together, it is important that you understand the implications of your leaving the marital home prior to doing so.

In Texas, judges will generally seek to maintain the status quo, especially when children are involved. As such, judges often will order that the children continue to reside in the home with which they are familiar and continue to attend their same schools.

If you decide to move out of the marital home, you are placing yourself in a difficult position, and it may be an uphill battle to convince the judge that you should be the primary conservator of your children. Judges may not be inclined to award primary custody to the parent who has moved from the marital home.

The parent who continues to reside in the home can argue that moving the children from the home would be too disruptive and that it is in the best interest of the children that the person who remains in the home should be the primary conservator of the children.

Temporary Rulings

When deciding whether or not to move from your marital home during the pendency of a divorce, the best course of action is probably to remain in the home until a temporary-orders hearing can be held and the judge can make a temporary ruling on the use of the house until a final trial can be held for the divorce.

The Marital Home — In Conclusion

Unless domestic violence is a concern, you should strongly consider remaining in the home until a judge has made temporary orders.

A decision to move from your marital home may make it difficult for you to be named a primary conservator of your children and for you to maintain use of your home during the pendency of your trial.

Contact Us for Help

If you are preparing to file for divorce or have been served with a divorce petition by your spouse, set up an initial consultation with a family law attorney before deciding to move from your marital home.

Give us a call at Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant to set up a consultation at (940) 387-3518, or contact us today.

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