If you’re divorcing in Massachusetts, it can be stressful or even dangerous to remain in the home with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. When you can’t stand to share the same space with your spouse any longer, is it okay to leave the home?
Learn about moving out before a divorce and its implications below.
Do You Need To Move Out of the Home During Massachusetts Divorce Proceedings?
Legally, you do not need to leave your home before your divorce is finalized. It is a marital asset, and you have a right to remain in the home during this time, no matter what your spouse says.
Staying in the marital home may feel uncomfortable, especially if you’re fighting with your spouse amid a contentious divorce. But it can make sense to stay because moving out can have consequences for the outcome of your divorce.
Can You Force Your Spouse To Leave the Home?
Just as your spouse cannot force you to leave, you generally can’t make them leave, either. However, in domestic abuse situations, you can file for a restraining order with the court. This forces your spouse to leave the home to protect you from abuse.
If you have children and believe that your spouse remaining in the home will harm them, a judge may order him or her to leave the home. For instance, if your spouse uses drugs in front of the kids or fails to provide for their basic needs, it’s possible to remove them from the residence.
Will Moving Out Before a Divorce Affect Child Custody?
If a spouse moves out of the house without their child, the court will assume the other parent is the primary caregiver. A judge may want to continue this arrangement because he or she prefers to disrupt the child’s life as little as possible.
You can ask the court to grant you temporary custody of the child if you want to move.
Will Moving Out Affect You Financially?
Courts expect you to have a fair financial agreement in place when leaving home. If your spouse struggles with paying the mortgage after you leave, a judge may order you to help with their expenses.
You might need to continue paying until the court finalizes the divorce. Even after this, the judge could order you to contribute financially as a form of spousal support.
Contact Koiles Pratt Family Law Group for Help With Your Massachusetts Divorce
If you’re wondering whether you should leave the marital home during your divorce, Koiles Pratt Family Law Group can help. The firm serves clients in Salem, MA, and the surrounding area. Call (978) 744-7774 to learn more about moving out before divorce today.