Steven Fernandez |

Los Angeles Divorce, separation

Rights to Residence: Can I be Kicked Out of My Own House?When a couple comes to the conclusion that they want a divorce, one spouse will usually move out. If there are children involved, whoever is the primary care taker will generally stay with the children in the family home. For the children’s sake, this is often the best move.

Moving out at the point of separation is sometimes what is best for a couple, however it is not a rule that couples have to follow. If there is significant tension and conflict, which comes with most divorces, being physically separated and living under separate roofs can be immensely relieving. However, it is important to note that no one has to move out. Until the divorce is finalized, both spouses have a right to keep living in the family home.

An important exception is in cases with domestic violence issues. In these cases, it is pertinent that the victim does what they can to keep themselves and their children safe. This can either mean moving out or ordering the abuser to move out. In the absence of domestic violence, one parent moving out can be hard on the children and put their relationship with that parent at risk. It is very hard on children when one parent moves out so try to use it as a last resort; showing your children that you can still be a civil adult with your spouse, even if you are separating, will be a lasting lesson in patience for them. It also teaches them you can’t run away from your problems.

Above all, staying in the family home during divorce proceedings says a lot about your commitment and dedication to them as a parent. Sometimes moving out can reflect poorly on you when negotiating a parenting plan and timesharing schedule. In most cases, if it is safe to do so, staying in the family home can demonstrate that you are a good parent that wants to spend time with their children as much as possible.

Remember, California family law courts want to see a child spend an equal amount of time with each parent, as long as they are safe with that parent. This also keeps finances more evenly balanced. Child support is based in part off of the residential time a parent has with a child. The less residential time you spend with your child, the more child support you will have to pay to the other parent. This may not make or break your case but will certainly help.

On a financial note, moving out creates significant extra expenses, which can complicate household finances in the short-term while you figure everything out. If one spouse moves out, they might be entitled to temporary spousal support. This temporary support is often needed so that spouse can afford rent, utilities and other basic household expenses for their new residence.

These expenses are optional; you could both keep living in the family home and keep your finances relatively stable. This is also a benefit to your children, who will not have to set up a new room and get used to a new house during the tumultuous time of divorce. There are a lot of practical reasons for staying in the family home during a divorce but in any case, it won’t be easy. Always do what is best for your family as a whole and if you do move out, make sure you spend as much time with your children as possible.

If you are in the Los Angeles or greater L.A. area and have questions about navigating the divorce process, Certified Family Law Specialist Mark H. Karney can help. Attorney Mark H. Karney and his skilled complex divorce litigation team can provide expert counsel to help you make all the right moves, ensuring your interests are looked out for. Call our Los Angeles office at (310) 393-0236; email us at intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.

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