Should you move out of your house if you are having marrital problems?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Should you move out of your house if you are having marrital problems?

I’m the brother of a woman who is having marital problems and is thinking of moving out of her house. She has endured years of her husband’s alcoholism and is finally just fed up. There is no physical violence going on. Her home life is just miserable and she has had enough after 35 years. I’m not sure if moving out of her house is a smart idea if she is going to go through with a divorce.

Asked on November 30, 2010 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the home is jointly owned, each has an equal right to the house.  Additionally, the person moving out has the right to move back in, should that be necessary, even if the other spouse objects.  If a home solely owned by one spouse, the non-owning spouse has the same right to live in the home, or return to it, as the other.  The exception being that an abusive spouse can be evicted by the court with an "order of protection".

However, there are several practical considerations as whether or not someone should leave the family home. For example, can they afford to maintain separate households?  Although, more often than not, the chance to get away from each other and the constant bickering justifies the extra expense.  Additionally, the vacating spouse should keep other "realities" in mind.  The person remaining in the house often comes to expect that the home will be awarded to them (even if that is legally not the case). With these unrealistic expectations, the result can be a more adversarial proceeding and the possibility the judge will order the home sold as the only way to equitably divide the property.

Note:  The departing spouse should bear in mind that their most prized possessions will be left in the care of their spouse.  Therefore they would be wise to take such personal belongongs with them.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption