Will moving out mean you lose the house in your divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2022 | Divorce Law |

By the time one of you files for divorce, your marital relationship is already likely under a lot of pressure. The two of you may have a hard time even being in the same room with one another, let alone talking amicably about complex property division and custody matters.

What you may want more than anything else is some space between you and your ex, but you may feel like it is impossible to have any amount of separation because you live together. Some people will warn you that you should remain in the marital home until your divorce is over to protect your ownership rights.

Will you lose your investment in the home if you leave because you can’t stand living with your spouse anymore?

Your interest in the property doesn’t end when you leave

If you bought the home during the marriage, then the chances are good that you are on the mortgage, in addition to having your name on the title for the property. Simply moving out because you need your own space will not diminish your claim to a partial ownership interest in the property. Leaving could affect your chances of securing possession of the home in the divorce, but it will not prevent you from receiving a fair share of the property’s value.

Under the equitable distribution rules applied in New York divorces, spouses should fairly divide the property they acquired during their marriage, including their shared home equity. In most cases, moving out of the family home will have very little impact on your right to assert a shared ownership interest. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to continue contributing to the household costs despite living elsewhere.

You should let reason, not emotions, guide your decisions

Packing a bag and storming out of your house in the middle of a fight may give you a momentary sense of vindication, but such emotional decisions can lead to worse divorce outcomes. Instead of letting your emotions run the show and reacting angrily to the changes in your family, trying to be rational about this difficult process can help you make smarter choices.

Many people will struggle to control themselves emotionally in the early stages of divorce, especially if they still cohabitate with their spouse. You can determine the right steps to take for your own protection by discussing your situation with someone familiar with New York divorce laws and planning the steps you need to take next.

Educating yourself about what happens in a New York divorce will help you feel prepared for the upcoming changes for your family.