Who Gets to Stay in the Home During a Divorce?

You may be wondering who gets to stay in the family home during your divorce. There are some general rules and guidelines that most courts follow.

In most situations, the court will permit the parent, who is the children’s primary caregiver, to remain in the family home during the divorce. The court will permit the custodial parent to remain in the house in order to lessen the effect of the divorce on the children.

Here is where things can get a little confusing. If your family home is titled in both of your names, then both spouses will have the right to live in the house while the divorce is pending.

Generally speaking, you are not required to leave the family home during a divorce if your name is on the title. Even if your spouse files for divorce, you are entitled to remain in the family home until a judge orders otherwise.

Often a spouse will request an order from a judge asking the other spouse to be removed from the house. This request is frequently made if there is heated argumentation between the parties or significant tension that may spill over in front of the kids. These concerns will be addressed during the hearing, and the judge will decide if you must leave the family home. If the court rules in your spouse’s favor, you will be ordered to leave the family home.

Anytime domestic abuse occurs, the court will intervene. If there has been domestic abuse, a restraining order will be issued compelling the violent spouse to leave the family home. If that spouse violates the restraining order, they risk being arrested and taken into custody.

Does the Wife Always Get to Stay in the House During a Divorce?

During a divorce case, the court is required by the law to consider the children’s best interest when it comes to the family home. Most courts find that it is best to keep the children in their current schools, neighborhoods, and with their current friends during the divorce process. The courts do this to minimize the disruption to children’s lives during the divorce. Although it doesn’t always happen that way, the court will do everything possible to minimize the impact of divorce on the children. 

In general, the parent who is the children’s primary caretaker will be allowed by the court to continue living in the family home during the divorce. This reduces the impact of the divorce on the children. The court will allow the primary caretaker to live in the family home while the divorce is pending for as long as it is financially feasible.

When there are minor children involved in a divorce, the court will do everything possible to minimize disruption to the kids’ lives. If the court determines that it is in the child’s best interest for them to stay in the family home, it is likely to allow the custodial parent to stay in the house while the divorce is pending.

Survival Advice for Living Together During a Divorce

Most of the time, spouses will not want to stay in the same home during a divorce. However, some couples decide to live together while their divorce is pending. If you make this decision, this article will give you some practical tips on how to do this.

1.  Create a New Budget for Household Expenses

If both spouses decide to stay in the family home during the divorce, you must make arrangements for ongoing expenses and household bills.

You should have a conversation with your spouse in a business-like manner about who will cover what costs. As weird as it may sound, picture yourself sharing a home with a roommate rather than your spouse. If you decide to stay in the same house while the divorce is pending, you must decide how to split the mortgage payment, insurance, taxes, utilities, maintenance, and how you will budget for the kid’s food, clothing, school, medical, and entertainment.

Even if it is hard to talk to your spouse, you must discuss financial issues if you continue to live together.

2.  Establish Household Responsibilities for Everyone in the Home.

Household chores should be assigned and followed. You should develop a list of all the chores that need to be done around the house. You and your spouse should then have a conversation and agree on how the chores will be divided. Be specific. Define who does the dishes, cleans the toilet, does the laundry, cuts the grass, takes out the trash, etc. Develop the list and stick to it. Having clearly defined responsibilities will help reduce the chances of future fights over the house’s cleanliness.

3.  Establish Living Spaces and Schedules

Decide on living arrangements and daily schedules. Choose a division for the shared areas and bedrooms. If there is an extra bedroom, give each spouse their own bedroom. Sleeping in the same bed is not a good idea and can confuse your children if you’ve already told them you are divorcing.

If you live in a small house, you can define times for each person to use the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. A schedule can help you maintain your privacy and limit interaction with your spouse.

4.  Avoid Fighting in Front of Your Kids.

One of the difficulties of living with your spouse while a divorce is ongoing is the likelihood of arguments. If you and your spouse are going to live together during the divorce, you should avoid fighting in front of the kids. Your kids are already dealing with the trauma of the divorce. Fighting in front of them will only make things worse.

Arguments with your spouse are unlikely to resolve anything and are more likely to lead to more fighting. Yelling contests are useless. Instead of fighting, remain composed around your kids. Agree with your spouse to never fight in front of kids and to never say anything negative about your spouse in front of your kids. Any disagreements with your spouse should stay between the two of you and not your kids.

5.   Keep Your Cool If Your Spouse Gets Angry

This advice will be useful if your spouse acts aggressively. You can avoid needless stress by keeping quiet and maintaining your composure while they vent. After they have calmed down, you can choose whether to talk it out or just avoid them if you realize that the conversation will be meaningless. If you are in this situation, take a few slow, deep breaths to help you control your anger.

6. Don’t Bring Your New Partner Home

If you have become involved with a new person while you are still going through the divorce, avoid bringing that person to the house.

Until your divorce is final, it will be better if you keep your new partner away from the family home. Bringing a new person to your home will often lead to a fight with your spouse. These situations can escalate quickly. Avoid this if at all possible.  

7. Don’t Have Sex With Your Soon-to-be Ex-spouse

Sex with your soon-to-be ex-spouse will only make things more difficult. As easy as it is to sometimes fall into old habits, this is one you should avoid.

8. Share Parenting Responsibilities and Start Practicing Visitation.

Eventually, you will be divorced and have a visitation schedule. Creating a parenting schedule and rotating weekly individual time with the kids is a good idea. Creating a schedule will give the kids an opportunity to practice what divorce will be like. It also creates a method to give kids the individual attention they need.

Parents should work out which parent will do school pickups and how they will handle after-school activities. Begin planning weekend activities with the kids, so they become accustomed to the upcoming divorce.

You might want to use a calendar or an online tool to create a parenting plan and schedule. This will help you avoid possible arguments with your spouse.

It can be challenging to live with your spouse while you are going through a divorce. Hopefully, these suggestions can be helpful. During this period, remember to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Do whatever you need to do to feel better. Spend more time with your closest friends, ask a coworker for dinner, hit the gym, join a book club or bible study, or go to a movie.

Despite the initial challenges, you deserve the opportunity to revitalize yourself and create the future you envision.

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Tim McDuffey is a practicing attorney in the State of Missouri. Tim is a licensed member of the Missouri Bar and Missouri Bar Association.

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