What to do if my husband wants a divorce and wants me to leave the house?

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What to do if my husband wants a divorce and wants me to leave the house?

Our house is paid for and he wants me out by the end of the month. Which means I have to pay for an apartment and they are expense. Should I leave the house or will it look like desertion?

Asked on July 8, 2016 under Family Law, Maryland

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No matter whose name that the house is in, legally it is still the "joint marital residence". This is true until a formal separation agreement is in effect or a final decree of divorce is issued which addresses which party has the exclusive use and possession of the house. If you want to still leave you can but you are not legally obligated to do so. Additionally, the top reason not to leave the marital home “voluntarily” is that it gives your spouse’s attorney the opportunity to label you as deserting the family (if you have children). Also, moving out can also negatively impact childless marriages. If you are the primary earner for the household and dagree to leave and then find your own apartment while the divorce is pending, there is a chance that the court could require you to continue paying for your husband’s living expenses as well. Bottom line, your best option in a divorce is to stay in the marital home, so long as this does not put your safety at risk. At this point, you can consult directly with a local divorce attorney.


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