One of the biggest dilemmas people who wish to separate ask is, Should I leave the house? Should I stay in the house? What should I do?
The answer to those questions is very closely tied to the specific facts of each case. There is no easy answer. Some of the questions are:
- Are there children involved in your relationship? If so, what type of custodial arrangement do you and the other parent want?
- Who owns the house that you and the other parent reside in? If you own the house and you are considering moving out, who is going to pay the mortgage, if there is one? Are you sure? This is an important question, since if the house is owned by one party from before the marriage, a mortgage loan will also be in that person’s name.
- What is going to happen with ownership of the house at the time of divorce? Will it be sold? Does one party wish to retain the house? Can that party afford to? Do both parties wish to retain the house?
- Will the child(ren) live in the house after the divorce with one parent? Is that parent you?
- Are you physically separating? Remember, you can be separated, according to law, but still live in the same household (that in and of itself is a complex consideration and needs to be carefully explored by you and your counsel). If you are considering leaving and the home is owned by you from before a marriage, are you concerned that the other party will properly care for house?
- If you are considering staying, what is the quality of life you have in the house? Is the other party respectful of your privacy and allowing you to live in quiet enjoyment in the home?
As family lawyers, we are often asked: How do I get the other person out of the house? His/her name is not on the deed and they won’t leave. What do I do?
Even if the other party’s name is not on the deed, it may be difficult to compel the other person to leave. As long as they allow you peaceful enjoyment of the home and are respectful of the house, Judge’s won’t remove a person from the home in most cases until the divorce is finalized. There are exceptions to this rule and if the issue applies to you, a consultation with a good family lawyer might be in order.
Mediating this issue can also be helpful. While the Court may not issue an Order that a party leave, negotiating this issue can be a solution that gets both parties where they wish to be.
The telephone number of our firm is 215-967-9070. Put us in your contact list on your phone and you’ll have us at your fingertips from this point on.