When you are beginning the divorce process, it is a common to become uncomfortable in your own home and want some space from your partner. Therefore, a frequently asked question by clients, is if they should remain in the marital home or if they should ask their partner to leave. There can be both positive and negatives to leaving your marital home. Therefore, it is important to discuss this topic with your Florida Divorce Attorney and assess which option is best for you and your family.
One reason some individuals wish to leave the marital home is for protection from abuse. If you have an abusive partner, it is imperative to protect both yourself and your family. Therefore, removing yourself from the situation may be the best option. Reports of domestic violence between divorcing couples increase during the pendency of their proceedings; therefore, if already in an abusive relationship the danger you may be in could also increase. Therefore, leaving the home could be your best protection. However, you may also file an Injunction for Protection from Domestic Violence. Within this injunction, the court will determine who remains in the home, as well as providing boundaries and limitation to the contact between you and your spouse to protect you from future abuse.
Another reason an individual may wish to remove themselves from the marital home is to decrease the amount of conflict between them and their spouse. Rather than providing a greater number of opportunities for arguments to arise, being in such close quarters, some decide to remove themselves from the situation to decrease the hostility. Further, if there are children involved, they may separate themselves to decrease the exposure to the children of the heated conflicts between the couple.
Although there are benefits to leaving, there are also reasons to stay put. For instance, if you leave the marital home and find a new living arrangement, the court may take this into account when it comes to equitable distribution of assets, including the home, as well as an alimony award. If you are able to afford the upkeep of the marital home as well as the upkeep of your new apartment or home, the court can factor this into an alimony award. Therefore, if you are the higher earning spouse, the court may find that due to your income you are able to afford the payment necessary for the marital home as well as the payments necessary for your new living situation. However, if your new living situation is less than satisfactory, because it was the only option you were able to afford, you will need to bring this to the court’s attention. Further, if you voluntarily leave the home, the court may take this action as a desire to withdraw from the home and retain no ownership rights to it, and the court may award the home to the spouse who remained there.
Deciding to remain in your marital home can be a difficult decision that involves a great deal of factors. Therefore, discuss your options and needs regarding the home with your Florida Divorce Attorney to develop a proper plan that will not significantly impact your ongoing divorce proceedings.
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