Should I Leave My Home During a Separation?

Wondering if you should leave your marital home while divorcing? Our guide will teach you proper divorce procedures, including who gets to stay in the home. 

If you and your partner have separated and are planning to divorce, the process can be stressful, especially if there are children involved.  

You may have a long list of questions. Can I stay in my house during a divorce? Or do I need to leave my house? Does moving out while separated mean I won't be able to keep my home? What's the proper divorce procedure?  

Whether you leave your home is mostly up to you. According to BC laws, it's not necessary to move out of your house to be considered separated. You can live in the same house as long as you have your own separate spaces.  

However, there are several factors to consider before deciding whether you continue living in your marital home during a divorce. 

 

Leave or Cohabitate? 

One of the most important factors to consider is your (and your childrens', if applicable) safety. If you're getting a divorce or separating due to domestic violence, always prioritize finding a safe space away from the spouse (or partner). For women and their children, there are resources available such as ShelterSafe. This resource is an initiative of Women’s Shelters Canada and allows women to connect with the nearest shelter in the area.  

If you and your partner tend to argue often, one of you moving out might make the children’s life more peaceful. On the flip side, having one parent leave the home can be traumatic, so make your decision with your children's best interests in mind.  
Another aspect to consider is whether you have the financial means to move out. Sometimes paying for another place to stay just isn't an option, and in this case, cohabitating might be necessary or you may consider moving in with a friend or relative.  

 

What Factors Influence Who Keeps the House?  

Just because you moved out during the separation doesn't mean you're giving up your rights to your marital home.  
If you and your partner are still getting along, make an agreement between the two of you to decide the details of your separation, including who gets what. If an agreement isn't made beforehand, the court will divide things equally between the two of you.  
There are several factors a judge will take into account when deciding who keeps the house during a separation and after the divorce. 
These include how long you have been is a spousal relationship and/or married, if the home belonged to either party prior to the relationship, and most importantly, what is in the best interest of the children.  
If certain things are important to you when it comes to dividing up assets, it's a good idea to put them in writing.  

 

Get Your Questions About Divorce Procedure Answered 

Navigating your way through a separation or divorce can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Dick Byl Law is here to help.  
As a law firm that prides itself on its experience and professionalism, we understand the importance of your unique situation. Our expertise in divorce procedure allows us to guide you through the process, making it as painless as possible.  
Contact us today for a consultation and to have all your questions answered.