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Monday, May 9, 2011

If I leave the House, will I lose my Financial Interest?

In many divorce cases, the initial fight is over who will leave the house. In cases where the parties own the home, the first person to leave is often very concerned that the spouse remaining behind will have a financial advantage. While there are some potential financial advantages to the party that remains behind, in most cases they are minimal when compared to the quality of life improvement one experiences by leaving a stressful living situation.

The potential financial advantage is primarily the use of the house during the pendency of the divorce action, which may have some financial benefit depending on how the bills of the house are split during the separation. There is also the immediate expenses for moving and replacing any furniture or other necessities, but unless one party buys the other out from the house both will eventually have this cost.

There are potential problems with one party controlling the property, for instance they can make it more difficult to show to potential buyers or fail to perform necessary repairs and upkeep. If you believe these are a serious risk, you may want to agree to orders on these issues before leaving the house. A solid written agreement can prevent most of the financial problems that might arise by leaving the home before the divorce is final, or at least provide for mechanisms to compensate one party if there are issues. If you are unsure of what you should do in your situation, you should consult with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.

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