Who Has to Leave the Family Home in a Divorce?

According to data from the National Statistics Office of Georgia, there were 7,643 divorces statewide in 2020. Going through a divorce can be difficult and emotional for all parties involved. During the divorce proceedings, issues of asset division often arise, and the subject of vacating the marital home needs to be addressed. If you are thinking about filing for divorce and trying to decide whether to leave your family home, consulting with an experienced Georgia family law attorney is crucial for proper guidance.

Attorney Noreen Banks-Ware is committed to providing outstanding legal services and knowledgeable guidance to clients in family law-related matters, including divorce and asset division. As your legal counsel, she will review every detail of your personal situation and explore your possible legal options. Attorney Banks-Ware will work meticulously to protect your legal rights, help resolve divorce issues amicably, and make your transition as smooth as possible. 

E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC is proud to serve clients across Covington, Decatur, Conyers, Lithonia, McDonough, and Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Establishing Living Arrangements

The marital or family home remains one of the most valuable assets in every marriage. Oftentimes, the spouses have established a deep emotional connection with their family home. In the event of a marital breakdown, moving out of the marital home can be difficult. Nonetheless, the spouses need to establish a living arrangement while the divorce proceedings are ongoing. To determine the best living arrangement, the spouses should consider the following factors:

Safety

One of the vital things to consider when deciding whether to move out of the family home is your safety. Does your partner have a history of domestic violence or abuse? Is your safety guaranteed if you continue living in the marital home? If there is any likelihood of domestic violence, you need to take proactive measures to protect yourself and your children. You can file a petition seeking a protective or restraining order if necessary.

Comfort

When going through a divorce, your comfort is very important and should not be compromised. Although any spouses prefer vacating the family home until the divorce is finalized in order to avoid potential conflicts, disputes, or hostilities, you are still within your rights to continue living in your marital home during the divorce proceedings. If you're uncomfortable about it, however, moving out of the family home may be the best option.

Finances

You must also consider your financial situation to determine the best living arrangement. If you have enough income to continue paying the household expenses and taking care of the home, you can decide to keep living in the family home. Nonetheless, you may decide to sell the property and divide the equity, depending on your financial status or level of income.

Children

The parent awarded physical custody of their children has increased chances of staying in the marital home. Georgia courts understand the impact adjusting to a new home, school, or environment may have on children. In fact, this is among the factors considered when awarding custody. The court will therefore prefer to maintain the status quo. Regardless, the parent vacating the family home will be allowed to establish a parenting schedule, allowing them to spend enough time with their children.

Other Options

If moving out of the family home isn't possible, some other available options include:

  • Continue living in the home with your spouse, even after your divorce has been finalized
  • Sell the home and divide the equity
  • “Bird-nesting” — Each parent will take turns to live in the home with the children at different times

Keeping the House

Staying in the family home during the divorce proceedings doesn't necessarily mean you're more likely to keep the house during property division. Under Georgia law, all marital property acquired during the marriage is subject to an "equitable" division. Even if one spouse gets to keep the family home, the other party will be awarded money or another property with a similar value.

Factors Considered in Property Division

The following factors will be considered when determining equitable asset division in a Georgia divorce:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The financial status and assets of each spouse
  • The income, earning capacity, and debts of each spouse
  • Family responsibilities of each spouse
  • Alimony awarded to either spouse
  • The future needs of either spouse, including retirement planning
  • Each spouse's conduct toward each other during the marriage
  • Wrongful conduct leading to a waste of marital assets or finances by either spouse

Family Law Experience You Can Trust

A typical divorce in Georgia usually involves several complicated procedures. Trying to negotiate a fair divorce settlement with your estranged spouse, dividing marital assets, or establishing living arrangements can make things more complex and stressful. An experienced divorce attorney can review your options and determine the best course of action for you.

Attorney Noreen Banks-Ware has the experience and resources to guide people through the complexities of divorce and property division. As your legal counsel, she can evaluate your circumstances, explore your options, and help you navigate the important terms of the divorce. Attorney Banks-Ware will work diligently with all parties involved to settle divorce issues peacefully and productively and help establish a fair living arrangement.

Contact E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer. Attorney Banks-Ware can offer you the detailed legal counsel, support, and reliable advocacy you need to make key decisions and ultimately move forward. The firm proudly serves clients across Covington, Decatur, Conyers, Lithonia, McDonough, and Lawrenceville, Georgia.


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