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Can I Move Out During an Alabama Divorce?

Sometimes divorces seem to come from nowhere. Even if they were building for years, it can feel like one day you are living in a house with your spouse and the next day you are living in a house with your ex. At the end of the divorce process, a legally binding ruling will be made on who gets to keep what property. Until then, is it normal to still live with your spouse during the divorce process? Can you legally move away from them, and if so, will it affect the divorce process?

Some people are concerned that if they leave their house during a divorce, it will be considered “abandonment.” Legal abandonment, one of the grounds for divorce in Alabama, involves the abandonment of all financial, spousal, and parental duties. It means that you stop paying for anything and stop taking care of your children, not that you just moved. You do not lose the rights to your house and your children if you move out.

However, if you leave your children behind when you move out, that may influence the court’s decision on custody. If you move out and leave your spouse and your children living together in your previous house, you may by default become the “visiting” parent.  When people stay together in the same house for the entirety of a divorce, it is often because they are concerned about receiving custody of their children.

While there is no law that says you have to live together, there is no law that states you must split up either. Typically, judges only force one party to leave while a divorce is pending if there are safety concerns, such as drugs, alcohol, or physical violence. In most other situations, you are free to live together in the same house if you choose.

All of this means that you may have to live together with someone who you are divorcing throughout the entire process. Since there is no time limit for how long you have to be separated before divorcing in Alabama, it happens all the time. You will have a lot of questions. At Empowered Family Law, PC, we have solutions that can help make that tense time easier. We know how difficult it can be, and we help families through it every day.

In Alabama, you are legally allowed to move out during the divorce process. There is no need to remain living with your ex, even if you are leaving a house you own to stay somewhere else. You just have to understand that if you move away from your children, it may impact your time with your children. To discuss your divorce and custody options, contact Empowered Family Law, PC today! We empower families to navigate difficult changes and create new beginnings!

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With Empowered Family Law, you get an advocate who sees difficulties as opportunities for growth and emphasizes healing and problem-solving no matter how challenging your case.

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