Who Moves Out During a Las Vegas Divorce?

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One of the most contested issues in many divorces involves the distribution of real property, particularly the family home. Do you sell the house and split the proceeds? Does one spouse buy out the other? What if both spouses want to keep the house? Who should move out of the house while the Las Vegas divorce is ongoing? Can you force your spouse to move out? The following article discusses the answers to these vital questions.

The Most Important Factor

Living with your soon-to-be ex-spouse during a divorce proceeding is never a good idea. There are too many opportunities for conflict. Most significantly, the end result will be the same. If you and your spouse could resolve your conflicts, you wouldn’t be getting a divorce in the first place.

For these reasons, and many others, living together while your divorce is on-going is not an option you should consider. Divorce is an unpredictable and emotional situation, and many spouses cannot reasonably live together once the divorce process begins. Assuming someone is going to move out, who should it be?

Can I Force My Spouse Out?

You cannot unilaterally decide that you get to stay and your spouse must leave the marital home. You do not have the right to evict your spouse, even if you believe the house belongs to you. Even if you have the title and mortgage in your name, even if you were the sole income-earner, and even if you decided alone to purchase the home, you cannot simply decide that your spouse is no longer allowed to live there. Division of assets is a matter for the divorce proceeding to resolve, including who winds up with the house. Until the issue is finalized, it is technically still up in the air on who will get the residence. It surprises some people that having the title in your name is relevant, but it is not the only deciding factor.

If you believe the house is solely yours, the family court judge presiding over your Las Vegas divorce, might determine that the home is your sole and separate property and should belong to you. But until you get a court order to that effect, your spouse likely has an argument for at least a partial ownership interest in the house. And until you get a court order, you cannot unilaterally force your spouse to leave. Changing the locks while they are out is likely to get you in trouble and never looks good to a family court judge. If the house is community property, either the parties or the court will have to resolve ownership.

Before finally determining ownership, you may be able to petition the court to have your spouse move out while the divorce is pending. The court has the authority to issue temporary orders on a variety of matters connected to the divorce that will not have a permanent effect. The court will consider factors such as the presence of minor children and which party has custody while the divorce is pending. Las Vegas Family Courts prefer that the parties agree on these issues on their own, but many times this is not possible.

There is an additional situation under which you can get your spouse to leave: If your spouse is abusive or violent toward you or your children, or if they are threatening to be so, you can seek a protective order from the court. A protective order for you and your family can force an abusive spouse to move out.

Determining Who Moves Out

The best way to resolve the situation, is for you and your spouse, with your respective divorce lawyers’ advice, to agree on who moves out. It also helps to address other issues at the same time, such as a temporary custody and visitation arrangement, agreement on financial terms about housing expenses and support, etc. If an agreement cannot be reached, the family court judge handling your case will make a decision after a motion hearing. Regardless of how these situations are resolved, the judge issues a legally binding court order addressing all the temporary order issues for the duration of the divorce proceedings. Keep in mind that staying in the home might be a financial benefit that will come from one spouse’s share of the marital property division.

Trusted Las Vegas Divorce Lawyers

Talk to a family law attorney to discuss your living situation and determine the best approach for who stays and who leaves during your Las Vegas divorce. Our divorce lawyers have the dedication and institutional knowledge to guide you through all aspects of your divorce, from temporary spousal support, alimony and property division, and child custody issues. They are familiar with the most complex and sensitive of divorce issues. They can answer your questions to help you decide if a consultation is right for you. Call our office at 702-222-4021 to personally speak with one of them.