Guiding families through all aspects of divorce in North Carolina

Attorneys at Raleigh Divorce Law Firm

Do you have to leave the house when you file for divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Divorce |

You and your spouse have both determined that the marriage is not working anymore. Even if the decision to divorce is mutual, the logistics of the process can be confusing.

One of the first issues divorcing couples often face involves living arrangements. Which spouse should stay in the family home? Where will the other live while the divorce proceeds? Or can both of you continue to live in the family home? These are complex issues to address, so here are some important things that divorcing couples should know.

Living in the same house technically is not allowed

North Carolina law is clear on this point. When you decide to pursue a divorce, one of the first conditions you must complete is the separation period. The requirements highlighted in this condition include:

  • A separation period must last at least one year and one day
  • You and your spouse must live in separate places during that time

A valid separation means you and your spouse do not continue to live together. It is also important to note that it does not count as a separation if spouses continue to live in the same house but in separate bedrooms.

What should you do then?

Deciding where to live is no easy task. There are financial and emotional implications to consider – on top of the financial and emotional matters involved in the divorce. Depending on these factors, you may:

  • Remain in the family home, while your spouse moves out
  • Stay with friends or family members
  • Look into a renting situation, such as an apartment or town home

Proactively preparing to address your living arrangements is essential to manage disputes. The family home itself can become a point of contention during property division. Whoever stays in the house during the separation period does not necessarily have an advantage when it comes to property division. That process involves completely different factors.

Even so, determining who stays or who goes during the separation period can also lead to an emotionally charged dispute. Staying informed and being prepared can make a big difference at this point of the divorce process.