Whether you just received divorce papers from your spouse or you are the one planning to initiate, thinking about the next steps in the separation process can seem daunting. You might have countless unanswered questions keeping you up at night.
One issue you might ponder is what your living arrangements will look like during the divorce proceedings. Reviewing the following questions may bring you clarity on your decision.
Do I have to move out before getting divorced?
The answer depends on the grounds for your divorce. The Code of Alabama 1975 Title 30 allows both fault-based and “no-fault” divorces. Alabama courts grant no-fault divorces if you and your spouse are incompatible or if your marriage has irreparably broken down.
If you fall under the first category and your situation makes it so you and your soon-to-be ex can not live together anymore, one of you does need to move out before getting divorced.
Will I lose property rights?
The spouse who stays in the marital home during divorce proceedings does not necessarily receive the house when the court divides your property. Alabama is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the court divides the property fairly after considering factors such as employability, age, child custody, contributions to the household and length of the marriage.
What are alternatives to moving out?
An alternative to moving out is to divide the family home into two occupancy areas. You and your spouse can then plan a schedule to use the common areas, such as the kitchen and living room. If splitting the house is still not enough separation, you could also create an alternating schedule in which you live in the house for a certain period (e.g., a week or month at a time) and your spouse lives elsewhere.