If you have decided to end your marriage, you may face some uncertainty about your living arrangements. After all, if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse do not get along, it may seem impossible to remain in the same house. Still, moving out may cause you to experience some short-term consequences.
If you leave your spouse and your children in the family home and move elsewhere, a judge may order temporary custody of your children to your partner. In other words, because judges must act in the best interests of the children, they are likely to take steps to promote their stability. If you stay in the home with your spouse until your divorce concludes, however, the judge may issue an “Under the Same Roof” order.
Because the judge in your case may add precise language to your Under the Same Roof order, you should read it thoroughly to understand your obligations. Nonetheless, these orders typically require each spouse to deposit all income into a joint checking account. The funds in this account pay for monthly household costs, such as the mortgage and utilities. Most Under the Same Roof orders also give each spouse limited funds that they may spend on personal or other expenses.
You may have expenses that exceed the court-ordered monthly allowance for personal spending. This is particularly true if you are trying to secure post-divorce housing, as you may have to pay earnest money or a security deposit. If you have expenses beyond monthly household bills and limited spending money, you must ask the court to allow them. If the judge agrees, he or she may either give you a one-time exemption from the Under the Same Roof order or increase your monthly personal spending limit.
Mutual restraining orders
In addition to an Under the Same Roof order, a judge may issue a mutual restraining order. This order, which applies to both you and your spouse, prevents harassment and mental abuse during divorce proceedings. Consequently, if you and your partner continue to live together, the mutual restraining order and Under the Same Roof order may help you maintain peace in the household.