It is very common for a married couple to own property together. Unfortunately, the joint ownership of a family home can lead to complications if the couple decides that they want to end their marriage.
When two spouses are living together in a shared family home and they decide to get a divorce, a decision may need to be made on who should move out of the family residence during the process of ending the union. The couple will also need to decide what should happen to the property after the marriage is over. An experienced Charleston, SC divorce lawyer at Kuhn & Kuhn, LLC can help you to make an informed choice about your rights to your home and can assist you throughout the process of dividing up assets in a divorce. To learn more, call today to schedule a consultation.
Moving Out of the Family Residence During Divorce
If you and your spouse bought property together, you both have a claim on the home. This does not change during divorce. As a result, neither of you is required to move out of the house between the time you file for divorce and the time the judge dissolves your marriage. Furthermore, neither of the spouses can make the other person leave, except in limited circumstances such as when child abuse or domestic abuse is ongoing and a protective order is issued.
While no one may be required to leave, living together may be very uncomfortable and you may decide with your spouse that it makes sense for one of you to move out of the family residence during divorce. Ideally, if this occurs, you will be able to decide together who should move out.
Typically, it makes sense for whomever is going to be providing care for shared children to stay in the home. If you have no children but one of you plans to stay in the house after the divorce is over, the person who is going to keep the house for the long term is usually the one who should stay.
As you make your choice, you will need to think carefully about what is going to happen to the home after the divorce is over. In many cases, a shared home is sold because neither spouse has the desire or ability to live their on his or her own. If this occurs, the spouse who is going to be best able to facilitate the sale of the home may wish to stay.
If you and your spouse are not ultimately able to agree on who gets the house, or on the fact that the house should be sold, this issue will come before a family court judge during a litigated divorce. If one spouse moved out of the family residence during the divorce, this will not ultimately affect his or her right to be awarded the home. The judge will use equitable distribution rules to make a decision on how it is fair to divide assets (including the house) up among the spouses.
Because the choices made on a family home during divorce differ depending upon your unique circumstances, it is a good idea to get legal advice about your specific situation. An experienced divorce and family law attorney at Kuhn & Kuhn can assist clients in Charleston and throughout surrounding areas in South Carolina during the divorce process. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.