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Michigan Family Law Blog

Do I Have to Live With My Spouse While Going Through a Divorce in Michigan?

Posted by Cameron Goulding | Jun 30, 2021

Many couples that are going through a divorce continue to reside in the same home during the divorce process.  This can often be a very difficult situation for both parties, it is at the very least awkward and can lead to issues of harassment and even abuse.  Given that this is a very difficult situation for the parties to endure, whey do so many people reside together while going through the divorce process?.

Why Do So Many People Reside Together While Going Through a Divorce?

In many cases, it is simply not economically feasible for the parties to reside in separate households.  There is an old adage among divorce lawyers that it is cheaper to maintain one household than two.  If one party wants to leave, that party will still be responsible for paying a share of some or all of the bills associated with the marital residence.  If there are children, then the parties will have to continue to share the children's expenses.  Given these costs and the other bills that people generally have, it is often simply not possible for them to separate until they are able to sell or refinance the marital home and find a less expensive alternative.  They parties may have to reduce other expenses and costs as well once they are divorced in order to maintain the two separate households as opposed to one household where they were sharing expenses and bills. 

In cases where there are children, then it may not be in the best interests of either spouse to move out of the home, even if they can afford it.  The problem is that if the parties are not able to agree on a parenting time schedule, then the other parent can not really move out of the home without potentially harming their custody or parenting time case.  What can happen is the person that stays in the home may deny parenting time to the other parent under some pretext and as time passes.  There is nothing the other parent can do about it and the police will not help without a court order.  Then the parent that stays in the home with the child can claim that the other parent has not had parenting time for a variety of reasons and attempt to use that as reason to deny the other parent custody or parenting time on a long-term basis.  

It is always best to consult with an attorney before you take any action, especially one as drastic as moving out of the marital residence or if you are not married, moving out of the home you have established with the other parent, but If you have already moved out of the home and a divorce has not been filed, you should consult with a North Oakland County, Michigan Divorce Lawyer as soon as possible.  In that case, the divorce should be filed immediately and the attorney should also file a motion to establish temporary or interim parenting time.  However, as previously mentioned, It is better to consult with a good family law attorney before moving out because it can be a risky move depending on your situation, the judge assigned to the case and many other variables that must be assessed.

Sometimes parties that get along well will stay in the home during the divorce to maintain the family unit for as long as possible and ease the transition for the children or simply because it is easier to do so until the divorce is finalized and they know exactly how to plan their future residences.  Parties may also remain together in the home until the end of the school year for the children.  There are many reasons that people may want to stay in the marital home until the divorce is finalized and usually the court will not order one spouse to leave the marital home unless he or she acts in a completely unacceptable manner, in that case, the court may order one party to vacate the marital home even if the parties could not otherwise afford it.

Can I Move (or My Spouse) Move Out of the Home Before or During a Divorce?

The answer is yes, but it is very important to meet with a Michigan divorce attorney before you do.  The attorney will help you negotiate the potential pitfalls and can work with the other side to figure out a temporary parenting time schedule and how to share the bills until the divorce is finalized as well as address many other potential issues in order to protect your rights while going through a divorce.  Our Michigan Divorce Attorney has over twenty years of experience to assist you in better understanding what the future may hold for you if a separation or divorce is potentially in your future, particularly if you are looking to move out of the marital home.  Conta us today to speak with a divorce lawyer about your situation.

About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...

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