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What if a spouse moves out of their marital home mid-divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Property Division

People going through a divorce in Texas usually need to prioritize their long-term financial goals over their short-term emotional reactions. Trying to secure the best possible outcome during community property division proceedings requires patience and attention to detail.

Community property rules affect marital assets in specific ways. It isn’t the automatic 50/50 split that people often expect. Divorcing spouses also need to have a thorough understanding of their financial circumstances. Accounting for all major marital assets, especially the most valuable ones, can help people move on from their marriage with resources sufficient to rebuild their lives later.

A marital home could very well represent a substantial portion of a couple’s total shared resources. People often tell those going through divorce that they need to stay in the marital home throughout the divorce. What if one spouse moves out because they can no longer tolerate cohabiting with the other?

Possession does not affect someone’s right to equity

People do not need to subject themselves to months in a very tense, potentially hostile living arrangement to protect their financial interests during a divorce. Actually living in or possessing the home is only one of the considerations for the marital residence in a Texas divorce.

Spouses also typically need to establish the value of the home so that they can divide equity in a reasonable manner with one another. Someone who moves out of the home might put themselves at a minor disadvantage for the purposes of actually retaining possession or the right to live in the house.

However, their decision to leave typically does not have any bearing on their right to a portion of the home’s equity. With the exception of scenarios in which someone actually abandons their spouse, home and children, the decision to move out during a divorce should not have much impact on someone’s property division rights.

When the degree of marital conflict reaches an unsustainable level, those going through a Texas divorce may need to contemplate making alternate living arrangements for their mental health. Learning more about community property rules during Texas divorces may help people make choices that reflect the real risks and challenges of modern divorce.