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Think twice before moving out of your house during divorce

There are many reasons that people move out of their houses during divorce, even if they do not want to. For example, suppose you got home one day, and your spouse said, “I am filing for divorce. You need to get out. Go now. I have packed your bags.” In a confused daze, you left.

Or perhaps you are the one who filed, and you feel guilty about it. You decide to move out. However, moving out can be a mistake, whatever the reasons are behind it and whatever your financial affairs look like.

Legally, both of you can probably stay

In many situations, New York lets someone file for divorce and still live with his or her spouse. (One major exception is if the filing occurs after a separation agreement.) The takeaway is that neither one of you probably needs to leave the home in order for the divorce to proceed.

Leaving complicates matters

If one of you leaves the home for whatever reason, the other could make arguments such as abandonment. The other spouse could also assert that he or she has a greater claim on the home due to staying. This may be especially true if you have children still living at the home with your spouse.

What if you do not want the house?

In some ways, the situation may seem more straightforward if you do not care about ending up with the house in divorce settlements. However, it is best to stay in the home until a lawyer advises you it is okay to move out. Otherwise, moving out could affect child custody matters, alimony payments and other issues even more.

Of course, two people who are getting a divorce often do not live together well. There are bound to be lots of arguments and tension, and the parents should spare the kids that negativity if possible. The good news is that it is most likely legally safe for you to live apart from your spouse during proceedings. However, it is best to do so only after negotiations or discussions with lawyers from both sides. If you moved out of your house and do not yet have a lawyer, it could be in your best interest to get in touch with one as soon as possible.

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