Can my wife leavethe house that we rent before we file divorce?

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Can my wife leavethe house that we rent before we file divorce?

We rent and live in a home together along with our 2 kids (11,9). We will be filing for divorce in the next week or so. Can she just leave and rent an apartment and take the kids before we file or during the divorce process? I can not afford the place by myself.

Asked on January 15, 2012 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Can your wife leave the rental home? Yes--the law does not make a spouse live with another spouse.

2) Can she take your children--possibly not; you both have parental rights and an entitlement to custody (at least until the divorce and custody is formally determined); therefore, you could possibly seek a court order barring her from doing this, and you might wish to speak with a divorce or family law attorney about your rights in this regard.

3) If she is on the lease with you, she is legally obligated for the rent; if she will not pay her share, you *may* be able to take legal action to force her to pay--or at least, any shortfall here could be taken into account during a divorce, during the apportionment of assets and liabilities. This is something else to discuss with a family or divorce law attorney.


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