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I was Served With Divorce Papers. Do I Have to Move out of the House?

No. Just because you are served with divorce papers does not mean you have to move out of the marital home. The filing of a divorce is nothing more than getting the case officially started and service is nothing more than obtaining personal jurisdiction over the other party. The only way you would be forced to move out of the house would be if there were court orders requiring you to do so. Orders do not enter just because the case if filed.

Temporary Use of Marital Home

Though you do not have to immediately move out of the house, a court could enter temporary orders regarding temporary use of the marital home. This would generally occur after a temporary orders hearing is held. Temporary orders are generally set to occur within a few weeks of your mandatory initial status conference.

In some cases on spouse might ask for temporary use of the marital home. This type of request is often made if there is arguing or extreme tension between the parties, or perhaps spilling over in front of the children. Again, any order to vacate would generally be weeks after filing and service. The court awarding temporary use of the martial home to one party, at the exclusion of the other, has nothing to do with final allocation of the home or division of the equity. Those issues will be dealt with at the final permanent orders hearing.

Questions about your divorce and remaining in your home? Speak with an attorney at Plog & Stein today: (303) 781-0322

Stephen Plog was amazing to work with. Fantastic communications, highly knowledgeable and honestly cares about his clients. A true pinnacle of his industry that other lawyers should aspire to be.
Erik Philips
Erik Philips
Stephen Plog is the attorney I used to draft my post nuptial agreement and assisted me in preparation of filing divorce paperwork. Throughout both processes, he provided me with reassurance and support. Very fair in pricing and went above and beyond in my opinion. Thank you Plog and Stein.
Nova Utzinger
Nova Utzinger
My issue was paperwork and advice. I was pressed for time and even between the holidays, I was able to get in and talk to Stephen Plog that same day. He made it happen. After explaining what I needed, he was able to quickly get me the necessary documents and I was able to move forward immediately. Very friendly, honest, informative, trustworthy. As is the case for most of us, I hope I never need a family law attorney again. If I do, this is where I’m coming.
Rob Forbes
Rob Forbes
Stephen and his firm came highly recommended. He had looked over my divorce and gave me an honest recommendation and advice. He explained things simply enough for me to fully understand everything. something that was much needed when going through a stressful divorce. I would recommend him to anyone needing help. You won’t be disappointed.
Sean Smith
Sean Smith
If you are going through a divorce I would highly recommend this law firm. They did an amazing job at answering all my questions and helping me relax during very stressful moments in the process. They have me a peace of mind that everything would be ok.
Andrea Jackson
Andrea Jackson
Sarah McCain was my attorney for my legal separation. She was actually my second attorney. I found her AFTER I had a traumatic experience with a predatory attorney that was trying to take advantage of me. I have Autism and was already traumatized by the whole experience of the separation. Sarah was SO KIND, she absolutely took my state of mind into consideration. She explained everything clearly and made sure I understood. She made sure I felt things were fair and she really worked hard for me. I felt so well taken care of with Sarah on my side. Thank you for helping me get through this very hard time in my life Sarah!
Loopy Llama
Loopy Llama

Allegations of Domestic Violence or Harassment

The other instance in which you might be required to vacate the marital upon service of a divorce would be if you were simultaneously serviced with a restraining order. When there are allegations of domestic violence, threats, or harassment, one party might seek a protection order at the outset of a divorce case.

When this occurs, there will generally be a hearing, on the merits, to determine whether the protection order will be made permanent. The hearing must occur within two weeks. If the restraining order is dismissed you should be allowed back in the home, though should be extremely cautious to prevent future allegations.

When to Remain in the Marital Home During a Divorce

Our Denver family law lawyers generally advise clients to remain in the marital home as long as they can, particularly if there are children. There are, of course exceptions, such as when there are legitimate safety concerns due to the behavior of the other party. Safety always supersedes strategy.

With kids involved, leaving the home could mean that one parent is at the mercy of the other to see the kids until temporary orders are established. Leaving the home absent agreements as to furnishings or household items could leave a spouse in the position of having to trust that the other will not dispose of or damage items. There is also an added expense to the family if one party moves to an apartment, take into account moving costs and rent when considering a move during a divorce.

Finally, though the lay adage, “possession is 9/10 of the law” does not really apply, sometimes being out of the house for months or more while your case progresses could give the other party the upper hand should there be a battle over who ultimately keeps the home. Those battles are rare.

When you are served with a divorce petition it’s important to contact an experienced divorce attorney in Denver to understand your rights and options before making any uninformed decisions which could impact your case down the road.

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