Moving Out of the Marital Home – Do I Lose My Rights to It?

Moving out of the marital home may require permission from the other spouse to avoid the possible charge of abandonment, and communication with the spouse and a legal professional in this situation is key. The person that moves out may still have a right to the marital home during a divorce or even in separation.

Abandonment and Leaving the Home

It is possible that the other spouse will have a higher chance of keeping the marital home if the individual leaves the property without consent, without communicating the matter and with the intent of leaving the marriage. The person can face abandonment charges when he or she does this with the intent of not returning. It is possible that the judge may provide the spouse that remains at home with the property when he or she keeps the house maintained and pays all the bills. If the other spouse leaves without providing any assistance and even leaves children behind, this is abandonment.

Fault or No-Fault Divorce

The grounds for divorce generally depend on the state. Sometimes, there are grounds through fault divorce processes. Other states have a no-fault divorce that will not hold a person accountable for abandonment or desertion of the marriage. By moving out of the house, the individual may still have all rights to the interest in the home or to split it with the other spouse during the divorce process. There are specific reasons why the judge may determine that the remaining spouse in the fault states should retain the home. These factors will apply during a divorce case.

Forfeiting Any Property Rights

Usually, the person that leaves the home does not give up his or her claim an interest in the property or the personal property that may still remain. Even if he or she abandons the house, it may not apply to the relationship or domestic matters in the courts. In the standard case, the leaving of the house will not affect the rights and interest in the marital home. The one aspect that the person will lose is the right to what happens inside the house or on the land. This includes the upkeep, changes and loss or acquiring of additional furnishing.

Expectation of Privacy

When the individual leaves the marital home, he or she will expect a right to privacy. The same is true of the spouse that remains in the marital home. Once the individual leaves, he or she may not have a legal right to access the property if there was no upkeep or monetary payments provided for mortgage or rent. The person cannot expect to come into the house and then leave again without permission. The spouse that leaves may want to copy any documents or take them with him or her when vacating the house to ensure they still exist for future purposes.

The Impact on the Case

The spouse that moves out will need to consider the possible impact it could have on the divorce and child custody case when regarding children in the marriage. Some judges will not consider the move out of the marital home because this is often the first step in a dissolution of the marriage such as through separation in the state. If the person abandons the home and marriage, this could have negative consequences on the divorce process unless there is a compelling reason to do so in the situation. Others will need to consider the possible ramifications of moving out unless they are willing to keep paying certain bills and other expenses.

If there is a child from the marriage, there are impacts that could affect the custody case if the spouse does move out of the marital home. Unless he or she hires a lawyer and is able to explain this move out as necessary or part of the separation preceding a divorce, the move out situation could negatively harm the case. It is important to come to an agreement with the spouse first before leaving. This may need to occur through a written explanation, verbal agreement and sometimes with legal representation in a mediation-type meeting.

Legal Support for Leaving the Martial Home

The spouse that leaves the marital home will need legal representation to explain the situation, have a valid argument for doing so and to mitigate the possible damage to the divorce case later. The lawyer will gather evidence to increase the strength of the case in these circumstances.

If you find yourself in this situation, contact our offices for a free consultation at (561) 838-9595

Provided by HG.org