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Can I Move Out of the Marital Home When Getting a Divorce?

woman typing on top of moving boxes

During a divorce, emotions run high. Between all of the changes happening, it can all feel a little overwhelming. One of the most significant changes that divorcing spouses face is what to do with the marital home. At what point during the divorce process should one spouse move out? Who is required to move out? Our New Jersey divorce attorneys explain whether or not you should leave your home during a divorce.

Do You Have Children?

One of the first matters to consider is whether you and your spouse have children and your custody goals. If you want primary or sole custody of your children, then leaving the home without taking them with you could undermine your case. Your soon-to-be-ex could make the argument that they are the primary caretaker of the child, thus meaning the children should be allowed to stay with them.

If you decide to leave the house, you also could take the children with you. However, be careful when doing this and ensure you have permission first. If the divorce has already begun, you may need to file a motion asking the court for permission to remove the children from the home. Failure to do so could result in your spouse filing a motion to force you to return your children to the marital residence.

Essentially, the court prefers the child to stay in the marital residence for as long as possible to promote stability during this chaotic time. Remaining in the home helps keep the children's lives as stable as possible while transitioning to post-divorce life.

Who Will Keep the Home After the Divorce?

Another factor to consider is which spouse will keep the home after the divorce. In New Jersey, marital property is equitably distributed between divorcing spouses. If the home is considered marital property, it will not impact your property rights to leave the home during a divorce.

You still have a claim over the ownership of the home, and you can ask the court for your fair share of the equity of the home that accrued during the marriage, regardless of if you move out. Furthermore, since New Jersey is a no-fault state, there is not concern that leaving the home will be considered abandonment of your spouse to have a divorce granted.

Contact our Middlesex County divorce lawyers today at (732) 810-0034 to schedule an appointment.

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