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Is there any consequence if a spouse moves out of the marital home before the divorce is final when the children are grown

Westfield, NJ |

The marriage is a33 year long union. My 3 sons are 22, 25, and 27. The 22 and 25 years olds are both in law school out of state and my 27 year old is independent and lives on his own

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Attorney answers 6


There are no consequences. You will not lose any rights to your property interest in the home if you move out.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us at 858-720-8250 or by email at Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship unless we are retained.


I agree with Atty. Fleisher, there are no consequences.

Tami L. Augen Rhodes

This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for your particular case nor is it intended as legal advice. I have not reviewed your case nor have I met with you and the answer to this question does not in any manner whatsoever establish an attorney/client relationship.


No legal consequence, if the contents or furnishings of the home will be in dispute you may want an inventory or else an agreed property division.

Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only, and does not create an attorney client relationship.


Generally, no. Did you sign any agreements regarding the pending divorce?

609-271-3573. This answer is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.




Marital residences are generally, with some exceptions, considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution like any other asset in a divorce. The only possible consequences of moving out are that (a) a court might order you to still be responsible for part of the mortgage and other “shelter” related expenses even though you are paying for other temporary housing arrangements (depending upon what the arrangement for the payment of these expenses was during the marriage) and (b) if you and your spouse both want to reside in the house ultimately, your spouse may make an argument at the end of the case that the status quo should be maintained, i.e. He or she should get to stay there because that is where they have been living all this time. However, that argument is not necessarily a winning one – it all depends on the specific facts of your case and it also depends on who, if either of you at all, can even afford to remain in the marital residence on your income alone or if it is going to have to inevitably be sold anyway.

Finally, one other issue to consider is ensuring the mortgage and expenses are paid timely and that the marital residence is properly maintained in the event it later needs to be listed for sale. If you believe that your spouse may not take care of these very crucial matters, you should have a plan in place to “keep tabs” on everything, i.e. ensuring the mortgage and bills are paid and property is maintained in your absence, so that the home does not risk going into foreclosure, your credit is not adversely affected and the home, which is probably the most substantial marital asset, does not lose value as a result of being allowed to go into a state of disrepair.

Family court judges are given significant discretion in determining matters of equitable distribution, including the disposition of the marital residence both during the litigation and after the final judgment of divorce. It is therefore important that you consult with an experienced matrimonial attorney to find out what your rights are and what you need to do to protect your interests in your divorce.

Here is a link to free eBook "Divorce: the Financial Impact" that will assist you with your issue:

You should consider meeting with an attorney well-versed in these areas. I recommend you seek a law firm that concentrates in family law. This concentration allows the attorneys to better understand the issues and complexities of you matter.

Additionally, below are links to articles and information that may assist you with your case.

Good luck.
Brad M. Micklin, Esq.
The Micklin Law Group
187 Washington Ave., Suite 2F
Nutley, NJ 07110

Please mark as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if our advice helped you. This information is based upon the limited facts you presented. My advice is based on New Jersey law and may be different if I find that the facts presented are different. Additionally, this answer does not contain any confidential information nor does it create any attorney/client relationship.

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