Today we will discuss some considerations regarding moving out of the marital residence. First we will discuss some items to consider when choosing a new place to live. Then we will discuss the legal ramifications of moving out. Recently, we discussed the option of moving out of the marital residence when a divorce is filed. If you missed that, you can find it here. The first installment of this series discussed continuing to live together, and you can find it here.
Deciding On A New Place To Live
Choosing a new place to live is more than finding a place to hang your hat. This new residence will be the base of operations for you as you begin defining your new normal. Yes, your new residence must be safe for you and the children and fit into your new single living budget. But it must also be a place for you to be comfortable. It must be a place where you can eventually bring friends or even a date, though we recommend waiting to date until after your divorce. This place needs to be a good start for your new life.
Here are some other considerations for where to live in no particular order. Consider staying in your kids’ school zone if possible to keep them in their same classes with their same friends. Consider how far from your work and the kids’ school you’ll be able to drive each day. Will you be able to get your kids dropped off at school in the mornings easily from your new base of operations? Will your spouse be able to easily pick-up and drop off the kids at your residence? Can you easily get to his or her residence? Where you choose to live can make your daily life easier or harder, so think it through.
A question we hear a lot from people who are considering moving out of the marital residence is if moving out relinquishes rights to the house? The answer is no. If the house was purchased during the marriage, then both spouses have a community property ownership interest in the home. The home remains the property of both spouses until the final decree of divorce is entered by the court. Moving out does not reduce your fair share of the home. (For a larger discussion of how community property works, see here.)
The smaller personal property in the home can also be divided by the parties at a later date. So moving out of the home does not mean you gifted the property in the home to the other spouse; it just means it is staying in the house until the final division detailed in the divorce decree. Of course, many times, once a spouse moves out of the house, he or she may lose interest in many of the mundane items the couple owned together. Do you really want those curtains? Do you really care to keep the well-worn recliner? What about the collection of plastic bowls and mismatched lids in that kitchen cabinet? In cases like this, you would actually retain ownership interest in the “stuff” left in the house even if you don’t actually want it all.
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Youngblood Law, PLLC is a Fort Worth, Texas family law firm that uses a holistic approach to help people define their new normal through the divorce process and beyond. This essay is intended for educational use only, and is not a replacement for competent legal counsel. If you are facing a family law matter, we recommend obtaining competent legal counsel like Youngblood Law, PLLC. For more information, contact us at 817-601-5345, find us on the web at www.youngblood-law.com, or on your mobile device, open your browser and type in lawfw.biz and press Go.
Paul Youngblood #beforeyournext #lawfw #youngbloodlaw #somedayistoday #collaborativedivorce #beingdivorceddoesntsuck