Do I have to move out while getting a divorce? 33 Answers as of July 12, 2013

If a wife has told her husband to move out, is it better to move now or wait to be served with divorce papers?

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Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
No, you don't have to move out unless there is a court order that orders you to do so. In fact, you could tell her that she's the one that has to move.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/7/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
It makes no difference unless there is going to be a fight over who lives in the house while the divorce is proceeding. Moving out is not abandonment of family nor property. So, if you have a place to go, pack up what you want/need, and in fact, I suggest you and the wife sit down and divide the stuff now, take your stuff with you unless you are planning to move back in later.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/8/2011
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
This answer is limited to New York law. Under New York law, moving out does not have any negative impact on a spouse's rights. The spouse can still make a valid claim on the marital residence as well as the contents therein. As a practical matter, it probably makes sense for at least one spouse to leave to minimize the amount of friction usually associated with a divorce; it is more likely you will reach an amicable settlement with your spouse if you are no longer living together.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/6/2011
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
Neither party needs to move out during a divorce. There are many parties who reside in the same home through the duration of the divorce process.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/6/2011
The Grigsby Firm
The Grigsby Firm | Sherlock Grigsby
You do not necessarily have to move out, but you are required to sleep in a separate room if this is to count towards you time calculated for divorce purposes.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 6/3/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Are there children? Has there been domestic violence? Any chance of domestic violence if you stay? You are not forced out of your home until a court order makes you move out; or possibly makes her move out. Your situation cannot really be answered completely with a quick email, so call.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    It's always better to wait as long as possible. It will give you better leverage to obtain a fair settlement from her because she has much more incentive to settle if you are still in the house.Once you move out, she has little incentive to settle with you. Also, consult with an attorney about this in person. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Part of this answer is based on the financial situation. Part of it is emotional. There are other parts as well. If there is room in the house for both of you, that would be best.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    There is absolutely no requirement to relocate unless or until a court orders it. In most instances, it is better to remain in the family home until you have consulted with and been advised by an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    No, unless the divorce court enters temporary orders giving one party exclusive right to possession while the case is ongoing. However, continuing to reside in the same house while undergoing the divorce process presents risks of confrontation and conflict that may be counterproductive - especially if the two of you can't agree on how to remain in the house together.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    You don't have to move out just because your spouse tells you to or because a divorce is filed. She would have to obtain a restraining order requiring you to move out, and you could contest the order in court. However, if you do plan to move out, it might be better to do it sooner rather than later, so you don't suddenly find yourself with a restraining order which makes it harder to move your things.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You don't have to move out even after papers are served. It might be the better decision, however, for your emotional well-being. If you are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    You are at a crucial crossroads in this case. Do not take any action until you speak with an experienced attorney about it. Leaving your house may result in giving up precious leverage. If you reside in Western Washington, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation-by phone or in person-about this situation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    The Findling Law Firm, PLC
    The Findling Law Firm, PLC | Daniel M Findling
    No, you do not have to move out. In fact, moving out can, in some circumstances effect a contested child custody case (if you move out without the child(ren)). Thank you for the opportunity to assist you in this matter. If you require further assistance or would like to schedule a free confidential consultation, I have provided my contact information below. During the consultation we can discuss both the obligations and benefits associated with your case. I look forward to meeting you to discuss your goals.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    The best advice anyone can give you right now is that you should retain an experienced divorce lawyer ASAP to discuss the impact on your divorce if you move out. While we generally don't advise doing it, each situation is different and you need to discuss this, and other issues, with your own divorce lawyer. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You cannot force someone to move out unless the move is by agreement or court order.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    Depends on if you want to keep the house. I would wait to get served and file a motion for temporary orders so that if she does get the house on a temporary basis that she holds you harmless on the mortgage.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Law Office of Cindy Lin
    Law Office of Cindy Lin | Cindy Lin
    You are under no legal obligation to move out of your home without at least a temporary order from the court. Usually, when divorce papers are filed, temporary orders will be issued relating to living arrangements, custody, etc. Before this happens, what you do is completely your choice and depends on your personal comfort level and availability of resources.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    No you don't have to move. It might be wise to. Probably not wise if there are children. Consult with an attorney so he/she can assess all relevant facts and your long term goals. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You don't have to move out, even if your wife tells you to move out. It costs more to run two households than it costs to run one. Just sleep in different rooms and keep the peace. It doesn't matter where you are served. In fact, you can file a divorce case and have someone serve your wife.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    It depends. If you are going to make no claim on the home, you may choose to move on out. If you wait until being served with the complaint, you will be subject, most likely to a "status quo" order requiring you to maintain current circumstances until the divorce is final or you get an order allowing deviation from the status quo order. If you are going to make a claim for the home, hunker down. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    The court will not usually order anyone out of the family residence unless there is a judicial finding of domestic violence. There may be a way to accomplish the task with competent legal counsel that I can provide if representing you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In many cases it makes more sense to stay in the house. But consult your local matrimonial attorney for strategy and advice.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Unless a person is in physical danger, get a lawyer first. In some cases moving is a huge mistake.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    No, you are not under any legal obligation to move out of the marital home at this time. Contact the office to discuss this matter. You need an attorney to protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    No, do not move out until you talk to a divorce attorney. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    It depends on the situation. Will either of you be able to take over the house, or will it likely be sold? Who can afford to make the mortgage payments? Be careful about leaving the house, and the attached payments, if the spouse remaining cannot cover things.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    It depends. If remaining in the home would increase the potential for violence (or even your spouse's feeling threatened), then it would be best to move out to avoid the risk of getting a restraining order issued against you. However, if the two of you can truly avoid being hostile towards one another, and you have the same right/title to the property as your spouse, then it certainly makes economic sense to stay under the same roof. I actually see this quite often due to the current economic climate. When you do get served, you should consult a divorce attorney as soon as possible. Your spouse may have filed a motion for temporary orders to have you vacated from the premises, among other things, while the divorce is pending.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Law Office of Steve Cedillos
    Law Office of Steve Cedillos | Steve Cedillos
    Where are you located?
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Hard to properly answer this question on so few facts. Unless there is a court order, you do not need to move out. Yet, as you seem to know, your spouse could request an "exclusive use" order, which if granted, you would then need to move out. With that said, it is best to try to coordinate one spouses move out of the house, rather than require court intervention. You and your spouse should do your best to put aside any hostility and try to come up with a sensible transition plan. If you need help with developing a plan, you can seek the assistance of a mediator, which is often better than going to court. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    There is no legal requirement that you move out absent a court order. Caution though so as not to "disturb the peace."
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/2/2011
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