Do I Have to Move Out of My House in a Divorce?

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Do I Have to Move Out of My House in a Divorce?
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 2/18/2024


Immediately after a divorce is filed, one of the most pressing questions faced is whether they should move out of the family home. In Washington state, the decision to stay or leave can have significant implications on various aspects of the divorce. Below are some pros and cons of moving out during a divorce. Additionally, we'll discuss the two ways a spouse might typically end up leaving the house.

Living Together:

  1. Easier Parenting: One of the primary advantages of moving out during a divorce is the potential for smoother co-parenting. Living together may allow both parents to continue the routines with the children, fostering a sense of stability and normalcy in their lives. While the status quo may be only temporary, it can be convenient until the parties reach a full agreement.

  2. Lower Costs: Moving out almost always leads to increased financial strain. Maintaining one household instead of two may alleviate the burden on both parties while they’re trying to move efficiently during the divorce process.

Moving Out:

  1. Increased Expenses: On the flip side, moving out typically increases living expenses. Supporting two households can strain finances, potentially stretching the budget for both parties and leading to financial challenges during and after the divorce.

  2. Potential Property Division Issues: Leaving the family home may impact property division negotiations. It's crucial to consider the implications of vacating the property, especially if it holds sentimental or financial significance.

  3. Heightened Tensions: Living separately might reduce tensions between divorcing parties. Communication can become more challenging, but often living apart can lead to reduced conflict on a day-to-day basis.

There are only two scenarios where someone ends up moving out of the family home.

  1. By Agreement: If both parties reach a mutual agreement regarding who will stay in the family home, it can simplify the process. However, it's essential to document such agreements properly to avoid potential disputes down the line. Working with your attorney beforehand to create a temporary settlement contract or order regarding finances and parenting is crucial.

  2. By Court Order: By request of either party, the Court may intervene to remove one party or the other from the marital home. Especially with safety concern, this route is often preferred. Requesting Court intervention often leads to increased tensions and costs, however.

The decision of whether to move out of the family home during a divorce is complex and depends on various factors. It's crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully and consider the unique circumstances of your situation. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney in Washington can provide valuable guidance tailored to your specific needs, helping you navigate this challenging period with confidence and clarity. Call the legal team at Magnuson Lowell PS for a free telephone case evaluation.

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