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Do you lose your right to the marital home if you move out?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2022 | Divorce

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around out there about divorce proceedings, and people sometimes base their divorce strategy on inaccurate legal information or hearsay. 

For example, some people will tell you that if you move out of the marital home before the divorce, you will lose your right to claim the home or its value in the divorce. Is that true? 

Equitable division rules protect your interest in the property

You do not need to live in a piece of real estate to have a financial claim to it when you divorce. Under Tennessee’s equitable distribution rules, your interest in the property comes from the investment of marital resources into its purchase and maintenance. 

Even if you leave the home when you separate from your spouse, all the years of equity accrued during your marriage will give you a claim to a share of the property’s value in the divorce. If you hope to retain possession or the right to stay in the home, choosing not to leave it could strengthen your case, but leaving will not inherently prevent you from receiving possession of the home in the divorce. 

Living separately can help defuse a tense situation. It can be very difficult to continue cohabiting with your spouse during a divorce. Even if the two of you have had a respectful and healthy relationship, you may constantly fight or feel unsafe in your own home if you try to stay there during the divorce. Discussing your financial records and expectations for a divorce can help you achieve your goals, like keeping the house or getting a share of its equity. 

Learning more about the basics of Tennessee high-asset divorce proceedings will give you the confidence you need to file and assert your rights.

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