Financial Advice on Divorce: Rights To The Marital Home If One Party Moves Out

Question:divorce lawyer Carrie Westbrook

I need financial advice on divorce on what my rights are to the marital home if I move out of the property.

If I leave the home and move to another state, do I have any future rights or claims to the marital home in the event we do divorce?

How can I protect myself from my wife hiding assets or running up debt if I am not living in the marital home with her?


I am not licensed in your state so I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though.

Concerning just the marital property, you never waive your right to it simply by moving.  However, it’s likely any proceeding involving marital property will have to occur in the state the property is in, rather than where you move to.

So you could be forced to return the original state for that proceeding. This can get expensive depending on how far away you will be and can put you at a disadvantage from a financial perspective.

Also, your wife could transfer, deplete, or move assets and keep them hidden from you, causing you to be unable to assert rights to certain assets or causing you to have to incur substantial expenses finding out where the assets are.

Depending on your state, your spouse may be able to obligate the marital estate to debts and other such obligations without your knowledge or consent that you would ultimately have to pay out of the marital assets.

In many states, you can enter into documents (such as a legal separation agreement) that spell out the rights of each party and prevent one party from running up debt, for example, to the other party’s detriment or from stashing or depleting assets and making the marital estate worthless without the other’s knowledge or consent.

In short, you are always running a risk by leaving any asset in the hands of someone you are likely to be involved with in an adversarial proceeding with later.

Accordingly, I would strongly suggest that you talk to an attorney before deciding to move out of the residence.

I have only provided you with general legal information. For a more in-depth answer and financial advice on divorce, you should contact a family law attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Cordell & Cordell has mens divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Carrie H. Westbrook, an Associate Attorney in the Colorado Springs, Colorado office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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