If you’re one of many Pennsylvania spouses who has recently decided to break ties with your spouse rather than remain in an unhappy marriage, you’ll no doubt be navigating many life changes in the near future. If you’re a parent, the decisions you make that directly affect your children’s lives will undoubtedly be a top priority in a divorce. One such issue might have to do with your marital home
You might be wondering whether you or your ex should move out before the court finalizes your divorce. On the flip side, maybe your top concern is being able to stay in your home during the divorce process. There are several things to keep in mind on both sides of the issue.
Whose name is on the title of the home?
Perhaps yours and your spouse’s name have both been on the title of your home since you purchased it. Maybe one of your names was the only one on the title initially, but the other person’s name was added later. For homes that are marital property, the name on the deed is not determinative of who has the right to reside in the home in the event of a separation.
This is an important factor to consider when deciding whether one of you should move out once you’ve decided to file for a divorce. Moving out of the house does not negate your financial obligations on a mortgage, if you’re still making payments. You can move out, and you can even purchase another home if you qualify for a loan; however, if your name is on the mortgage loan of your marital home, the lender will still hold you responsible for mortgage payments whether or not you live there.
Does an extended family member live with you?
If one of your relatives lives with you, such as your mother or father, or a grand-parent or sibling, or even an in-law, your divorce might directly affect their future, as well. By staying in your home, it might give your loved one more time to find a new residence if he or she isn’t going to live with you after your divorce.
You might not want to ask your spouse to move out before your divorce is final, if doing so means that his or her family member that lives with you ends up homeless in the process.
You are legally permitted to move out, if you want to
While there is no law prohibiting you from moving out of your marital home before your divorce is finalized, in some cases, a family court judge may determine that it’s best for your kids to keep living in your marital home for the time being, in which case, he or she may also determine that you or your spouse should stay there with them.
Whether or not you plan on selling your house after divorce may be another determining factor as to whether you want to move out or ask your spouse to move out during divorce proceedings. It’s helpful to speak to someone who is well-versed in Pennsylvania divorce laws in order to fully understand the implications of each potential arrangement and to make informed decisions that protect your interests and your children’s well-being.