Should You Move Out Before The Divorce is Final? (Pt 2)

Packed luggage bag sitting on floor
Before you hit the road after a big fight, consider this…

Welcome back! We’ve been discussing the issue of whether or not a person (usually the husband) should move out of their house during the initial divorce talks, or if they should stay home and stick it out until the divorce is final. There are several schools of thought on this, with different people claiming all sorts of disasters if you stay (or go, depending on which side of the line they stand on!). So we’re unpacking this issue for you, however, as always – we don’t recommend you make ANY choices during your divorce that you haven’t discussed with your attorney first!

Moving out temporarily doesn’t mean you lose rights to your home!

According to this author, a man who moves out of the family home (even temporarily) during divorce talks, is likely to find that he can’t return. Is that true? Not in Michigan it isn’t! Here in the Great Lakes state, a man is free to move out of his family home without fear that he’ll lose his legal rights. He would still be entitled to his marital portion of the home. And yes, it might be difficult to resume living in the house once he leaves, but only if his spouse requested (and was granted) a court order that prevented him from returning.

What about when the separation is long term?

This is a slightly different situation. If you moved out and stayed away for a long time, while your spouse lived on your family home and continued to pay the mortgage and maintain the house, they might be seen as having invested more in the home over a longer period of time. In the eyes of the court, the amount of each parties’ post separation contributions might have an impact on how the home equity is divided.

What about my possessions that were left behind when you moved out?

Again, if ‘moving out’ simply refers to taking some time apart during divorce proceedings, then you didn’t really move out, you just took a break. It’s still your home, and those are still your things. Of course, when a man packs a bag and “goes to stay with friends for a while”, he tends to take only what he can fit in an overnight bag or two. And that means he leaves everything else at home. So what happens to all of his personal paperwork, financial information, and all his important documents?

There is always a risk when you leave home during a fight.

Realistically, there ‘s always a risk when one person moves out and doesn’t secure their personal paperwork and documentation first. While it’s against the law in Michigan for someone to hide or destroy paperwork that’ll be needed during the discovery process, it can happen. It’s also against the law in Michigan to hide assets, access personal information on someone else’s computer, “hack” your spouse’s online bank account, or even read their personal emails and texts. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen though. So that’s something to keep in mind, if there’s bad blood between you and your spouse when you take your temporary time apart.

Are you considering a divorce in Oakland County?

We hope this look at your rights here in Michigan was informative. But as we’ve pointed out many times before, you shouldn’t take advice from the internet, you should meet with a reputable Oakland County divorce lawyer! So if you are considering a divorce, but aren’t sure what your next steps should be, come and talk to us. Here at the Kronzek Firm, we’ve spent decades helping the families of Oakland County with all of their family law related needs, whether it’s divorce, custody, asset division and even personal protection orders. We can help you too.