Moving out of the marital home is a tough decision for California spouses. Once you leave the house, your spouse can retain the right to remain in the home by court order. There’re times when moving out is agreeable and the right thing to do, but it’s wise to act with contemplation before packing.
Before you move out, you need a clear, written understanding of how the court views it and what future obligations to the home you have remaining. You should know if you’re still required to make the mortgage, rental, property taxes or insurance payments.
You’re not required to leave the marital home if your name is on the mortgage or lease agreement. Traditionally, men leave the marital home for the sake of the wife and children, but there is no law stating men must voluntarily leave the marital home during a divorce.
A judge’s ruling might be unfavorable regarding the division of assets, child custody and visitation if you leave home voluntarily. A court order forcing you to go is different and must be obeyed.
Before leaving home
Primary breadwinners can be forced to pay the remaining spouse’s housing costs even when no children are involved. Your home is community property, and if you voluntarily leave, there is sufficient room for an abandonment argument. It is wise to carefully consider any verbal promises from your spouse, during your divorce, before accepting them.
Before leaving home, rely on a network of family, friends and others for guidance and support. Certain conditions might apply if you’re not named on the mortgage or aren’t a financial contributor to the upkeep of the home.
Fighting or arguing about who has the right to remain in the home is stressful. If you have equal rights to the house, a judge can order that both spouses share the home if it’s safe for both parties.
Steps to take during divorce
Divorce takes an emotional and financial toll on both spouses and the children. Setting your feelings aside to protect your assets and your future is wise. Understanding what you and your spouse expect from the divorce will help you make sound decisions.