If We Get a Divorce,
Do I Have to Move Out?

Most married couples live in one house during the marriage, and many continue living together until they file for divorce. Under the property division law in Kansas, the house belongs to both spouses. If the house was acquired during the marriage, both spouses have an ownership interest in it.

However, living under the same roof while a divorce is pending is not an option for the vast majority of couples. That is why the question “Who should move out?” will arise sooner or later. If you are going through a divorce or are thinking about filing divorce papers but do not understand who should move out, get legal counsel.

The divorce attorney at Jeffers Law Office is ready to help you and your family move forward. The law firm represents clients in various family law matters in Overland Park, Kansas, as well as Lenexa, Leawood, Olathe, Shawnee, Prairie Village, and other parts of Johnson County.

Considerations to Make When
Deciding Who Should Move Out

Since both spouses usually have an ownership stake in the house, they may worry about losing their rights and interest in the house if they move out during a divorce. Sooner or later, either you or your spouse will have to leave the marital house because living under the same roof may be too unbearable when your divorce is pending.

Consider several factors when deciding whether or not you should move out:

  1. Safety. Are you safe in the home? If your spouse has a history of violence or abusive behavior, moving out may be the best option. In some cases, it may be appropriate to get a protective order against the abusive spouse.
  2. Comfort. Understandably, continuing to live with your spouse after you file for divorce can be an uncomfortable and emotionally-draining experience for both parties. For this reason, moving out is usually the best option to avoid unnecessary hostility and prevent serious conflicts that could make your divorce even more complicated than it already is.  
  3. Children. Usually, the spouse who spends more time with the children and assumes the primary parenting role will stay in the house because moving out and adjusting to a new environment can be difficult for the kids.
  4. Finances. Last but not least, finances are a major factor to consider when weighing the pros and cons of moving out when your divorce is pending. Leaving can be expensive because the person who moves out will usually have to rent an apartment or house.

Each case is unique, which is why deciding whether or not to move out during divorce can be a tough decision to make. Contact an experienced divorce attorney to discuss your specific situation and explore your options.

Moving Out & Other
Options During a Divorce

A living arrangement in which one spouse moves out and the other stays is not the only option during a divorce. Other options include:

  • Both spouses stay in the house. While this option may involve no additional costs, it could trigger unnecessary conflicts and take a toll on each spouse’s emotional wellbeing and level of comfort.
  • Spouses agree to sell the house. Once the house is sold, spouses can divide the proceeds via a formal and valid agreement.
  • Spouses take turns staying in the house with the kids. If a divorce involves minor children, spouses may agree to what is known as “bird-nesting.” The living arrangement involves parents taking turns to stay in the house with the children.

Many people who go through a divorce mistakenly believe that moving out will negatively affect their rights and an ownership interest in the house. However, just because you decide to move out and your spouse stays does not necessarily mean that your spouse will get the house. Kansas is an equitable distribution state that requires courts to consider dozens of factors to ensure that the division of property is equitable and fair.

Turn to Experienced Guidance: Jeffers Law Office

Seeking legal guidance is essential when going through a divorce. A skilled attorney will help you navigate the divorce process and advise you on the best course of action in your particular case. If you cannot decide whether or not you should move out of your marital home while your divorce is pending, contact the divorce attorney at Jeffers Law Office in Overland Park, Kansas. Request a free initial telephone consultation today to get started. 


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