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Should I stay or should I go?

Clients will often ask whether they should leave the marital home before the finances are settled.

Often, the lawyer’s preference is for their client to remain in the home. The reason for this is that:-

  1. It reduces the financial burden upon the family (i.e. There is only one set of housing costs to pay)
  2. It provides an incentive on both parties to reach a financial compromise

The disadvantage to remaining in the house is of course that it can prolong and even exacerbate the tension within the household. This could impact upon the ability of both parties to approach the litigation in a conciliatory manner with a view to reaching a compromise. In extreme cases the tension between the parties could rise to the extent that allegations of domestic violence/abuse arise.

Another disadvantage to moving out is that a person’s housing needs could then be “capped”. If for example the parent with the children wishes to retain the marital home but decides to move out on a temporary basis, it is likely that their temporary home will be a smaller, more affordable home and it may be seen that housing at this level is both suitable and acceptable. This in turn could make it  more difficult for them to argue for the retention of the marital home. Conversely, it may make it easier for the spouse in the home to argue that they should stay there and for the home not to be sold.

Ultimately, the decision as to whether to move out of the house has to be one which is a personal decision that is based upon whether the client themselves wishes to live apart from their former spouse or not. An expert family solicitor should be able to deal with circumstances whereby parties live together or whereby one has moved out and neither course of action should prove fatal to the overall strategy of the case.

Should you have any questions or require further assistance from our team of experts, please do not hesitate to contact us

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