Do I Have to Move Out after a Divorce in Georgia?
Many divorcing spouses cannot stand to be near each other after the marriage breaks down, and this usually causes one of them to move out of the family home. There is no automatic, legal obligation to move out of the marital residence, however. In fact, it is relatively common for separated spouses to share the same residence for many months as they head toward divorce and after a divorce has been filed. This was made clear in one of the most high-profile recent divorce cases in Georgia.
Jeezy and Estranged Wife Still Living Together
In September of 2023, it was reported that the well-known musician Jay Jenkins (“Jeezy”) was still living with his estranged wife in Georgia – despite the fact that they had filed for divorce. Nevertheless, insiders say that the pair are “barely speaking to each other,” suggesting that they may have a large mansion, but they might as well be living separately. Insiders also say that their decision to remain in the same home might revolve around their daughter.
Separation Requirements in Georgia
Unlike many other states, Georgia has no defined requirements for separation prior to divorce. A divorce can be filed merely by stating that your marriage is broken. While other states might require one spouse to move out to “trigger” the date of separation, Georgia does not have a “bright-line” test but rather it seems subjective based on each individual couple as to when a spouse in that couple believes the marriage is irretrievably broken and the parties have no hope for reconciliation.
The Advantages or Disadvantages of Moving Out of the Family Home
There are several disadvantages and advantages associated with moving out of the family home. For example, if you plan to retain ownership of the family home, if there is not enough money to pay for two residences, if someone has employment that requires him or her to work unusual hours (such as a doctor or nurse who works the overnight shifts), if childcare is an issue, or if there are young children and physical custody is at issue, then it may be beneficial for the parties to remain in the marital residence.
That being said, remember there is no legal obligation for either party to leave absent a court order. It might make sense to move out if you feel that you are in physical danger. There are steps you can take if you wish to be the party staying in the home (regardless of potential abuse). If you feel you are in danger, you could file for a protective order and ask the court to include in the order that your estranged spouse must vacate the family home.. If safety is not a concern but cohabitating is still not feasible, then you can also request that the court grant you possession of the house on a temporary basis. Ultimately, it makes sense to consult with a family law attorney in Georgia before you make the final decision to stay or go.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Divorce Attorney in Atlanta?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Atlanta divorce attorney, look no further than Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French. We know that there are many difficult decisions to make as you head toward divorce in Atlanta. While many of these decisions should be made by you and you alone, legal advice can help you choose the most appropriate path forward. Book a consultation today to ask questions about moving out of the family home, your date of separation, and much more.