Most of the time, the process of settlement does impart justice to the spouse who has relinquished ownership of the home in case it is not sold or re-financed as agreed. A sensible planning has to be followed to do justice to both the parties.
<b>The Choices for the Divorcing Couple</b>
There are three choices that a divorcing couple have pertaining to an equitable distribution of the property. The first option is to sell the property and distribute the proceeds because the mortgage principle is too high for one spouse to buy the entire property.
In the second option, the spouse buys out the other's share by refinancing wherein the selling spouse will receive his/her share of equity.
In the third option the house is retained. One of the spouse stays in the house while the other moves out till the house is sold off. This option is recommended when the couple have children who are in school and their studies will get affected if they move out suddenly. Hence, the marital home is retained until the children graduate. But this option requires the divorced couples to cooperate and bear the expenses of operating the family house.
<b>Why do Couples End Up Leaving the House</b>
Although according to law, leaving the marital house does not impact the outcome of the divorce yet, it is advisable not to do so. It weakens the case for the person who moves out, especially if that person is pursuing to retain the custody of the house.
Divorce happens when both the parties are unhappy with each other. They are thoroughly sick of each other and do not want to stay together. In such a situation usually one spouse moves out of the marital house so that he can live in peace. In these cases, they do not have an option but to move out.
Another situation where a spouse might move out is in the case of domestic violence. Staying together may be dangerous in case confrontation happens and one of the parties turns violent.
A person is forced to move out in case where the marital home is not the marital property. In such cases where the house was brought before the marriage, the owner has the sole right over it.
<b>Problems after Moving Out of the Marital Home</b>
Always make sure to consult your attorney before leaving the marital house. Otherwise, problems might arise later that may put you on back foot at the time of final judgement.
A major financial crisis occurs when a person agrees to refinance in order to remove the spouse's name from the mortgage, but fails. Another situation is when the spouse who gets the ownership of the home but ceases to make the mortgage payments resulting in foreclosure of the property. In both the cases the other spouse undergoes mental trauma regarding the marital home.
In case one of the spouses leaves the family residence, it reduces the chances of attaining the parental rights and obligations after the divorce. The spouse who remains in the house with the children has edge over the personal property and other things. This may result in the property being sold out later, destroyed or transferred to third party without the knowledge and consent of the spouse.
When a person leaves home in anger or frustration he weakens the case against himself for returning back to his house. This could result in the spouse who leaves being accused of desertion. Desertion in itself carries serious legal repercussions. In some cases it might be the ground for obtaining the child custody by the spouse who stays back.
Also, in some cases the possession of the home may end up with the one who stays back since he/she may contest that the other partner has abandoned the house when he moved out.
<b>The Final Word</b>
The decision to move out of the marital home before or after the divorce is a pretty complicated. Many issues have to be considered before taking a decision. Ultimately, after the divorce both the parties have to separate, but question is how and under what circumstances. It is always advisable to consult an attorney prior to moving out.
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