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Are There Legal Consequences to Moving Out of Your Home Before Your Divorce is Finalized?

If you’ve made the decision to seek a divorce, you probably have plenty of questions. One that our Florida divorce clients often ask us is whether there are legal consequences to moving out of their marital home before their divorce is finalized. Once one partner files for a divorce, it is common for at least one partner to want to leave the marital home to mitigate further conflict or for their emotional or mental health. However, leaving the marital home is a decision that should be undertaken only after you have carefully considered its potential implications upon your divorce.

What is the “Marital Home”?

One of the largest assets that couples have together is “the marital home,” which is the home in which you live in with your partner. Sometimes this home is one which a spouse bought prior to the marriage, and other times it is a home both spouses purchased together in anticipation of marriage or during the course of their marriage. In the former situation, the property might be considered a non-marital asset, meaning it stays with the partner who brought it into the marriage. In the latter case, the property is typically considered a marital asset that can be divided up during a divorce.

What Does Florida Law Say About the Marital Home?

In Florida, when married couples purchase a home, that property is considered a “tenancy in the entirety,” which is a legal way of saying that both parties hold full legal rights in the property. Divorce, however, destroys this arrangement, and the parties instead become joint tenants who each own one-hundred percent of the property but who instead each receive half of the value of the property when it is sold.

What Do I Need to Consider Before I Move Out of the Marital Home?

Generally, the simple act of moving out of a marital home does not mean that you will lose your legal right to the property. However, there are some important factors to consider before you move out. If you have children, it could significantly diminish the amount of time you spend with them, or it could mean that you and your children will be moving to a property that does not meet your needs as well as your current property. Further, if you are moving out, you will want to make sure you are financially able to pay for your children and any costs associated with the property to avoid allegations that you have abandoned the property.

When Should I Consider Moving Out of the Marital Home?

If you are currently experiencing physical, emotional, or mental abuse, or if your relationship with your spouse has otherwise deteriorated to the point where physical distance from them can best keep the peace, moving out may be right for you.

Questions About Getting a Divorce?

If you are currently going through a divorce or are planning to get a divorce, the experienced divorce attorneys at Blair H. Chan, III, PLLC, can help. We have extensive experience making clients’ divorces as stress-free and quick as possible, and will help you assess all of your options. Contact us today to learn more.

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