Who Gets to Stay in the House During a Divorce?

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Attorney Kelli Byers Hooper | 888-558-1353 | Atlanta Divorce Lawyer

Who gets to stay in the house during a divorce? Will the kids need to change schools? What’s the best way to handle the house during a divorce proceeding?

Kelli Byers Hooper is a family law attorney with KBH Law, Inc. in the Atlanta metro area. In this interview, she answers frequently asked questions about what to do with the house while going through a divorce.

To learn more, contact Kelli Hooper by calling 888-558-1353 or by submitting a contact form on this page.

Should the divorcing couple stay in the home during a divorce?

The answer to this question depends on whether or not the couple has children. During the consultation, the attorney will learn more about the couple’s situation and advise accordingly. Some important factors include:

  • The age of the children
  • Whether or not they would need to change schools
  • When the divorce is filed
  • Whether or not the parties intend to move

If the relationship is toxic, should one parent leave?

There is no reason why parents should stay together in the house if it’s an unpleasant living situation. If the relationship has gotten to a toxic place, it’s usually better for someone to relocate. Generally the person with custody of the children will stay in the house. It would be unusual for one parent to leave with the kids and leave the other parent in the home.

What can parents do to make things easier on the kids?

UItimately, it comes down to whether or not the parent residing in the house can afford the house. If the parent can’t afford the house on their phone, their attorney can look into ways to help cover the costs while the divorce is underway.

How should divorcing couples figure out how to split the costs of bills, payments, mortgages, etc?

In Georgia, each person must file a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit. This form requires them to list all income and assets, to whom they belong (joint or otherwise), along with expenses. These expenses include mortgages, child care, gas, electricity, cable, and anything else that would fit in a budget.

When determining who will pay the mortgage, the court will consider the past behavior of both parties. The judge may issue an order to pay if there has been some past behavior of not paying the mortgage.

Can the kids go to the same school?

A divorce is traumatic enough for kids. The judge will typically do everything they can to keep the kids in the same district so they don’t have to change schools.

How do you resolve conflicts in the marital home?

In the past during a worse economy, fighting parents would try to make staying in the house together work. This is one option if finances are tough for the couple.

Another option is “birdnesting”: this is where the kids stay in the house, and the parents alternate staying in the house and staying in another location. This cuts down on the kids moving back and forth between the parents’ houses. This may be a good option depending on the couple’s circumstances.

Does a new boyfriend or girlfriend for a parent complicate the situation?

As Kelli Hooper says, of course: boyfriends and girlfriends complicate everything. As they are referred to in Georgia, “paramours” tend to complicate a case. This is especially true if the paramour moves in with the spouse who has left the marital home. The attorney can add language to the divorce order stating that the kids cannot sleep over at the parent’s house if the paramour will be there and has been seeing the parent for less than X amount of months. This helps add stability to the kids’ lives.

What suggestions do you have for parents going through a divorce?

Find an attorney who is interesting in making sure the kids are cared for. There are many ways to approach the end of a marriage, and at Kelli Hooper’s firm, she always places an emphasis on finding the best solutions for the kids. The kids need the status quo maintained as best as possible.

To learn more, contact Kelli Hooper by calling 888-558-1353 or by submitting a contact form on this page.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.