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Should I Move Out of the Marital Residence?

Reality-TV star Bethenny Frankel filed for divorce from husband Jason Hoppy soon after they moved into their newly remodeled multi-million-dollar apartment funded by her SkinnyGirl cocktail line. Even though it was clear to viewers of the show that Hoppy was never highly interested in the new digs, he has refused to move out, even months after the filing, and shows no signs of budging. Clearly, Hoppy has been advised by his legal team that no matter how uncomfortable the living arrangements are, moving out and away from his young daughter could damage his bid for custody.

When a couple decides they want to get a divorce, often the first thing that happens is someone moves out. Usually, this is to reduce conflict, test what a separation is going to be like and create some emotional space. Moving out can be detrimental. The parent who moves out automatically is at a disadvantage for custody, because judges tend to preserve the status quo when creating custody orders. Moving out also means you have less control of household belongings and have a more difficult case obtaining possession of the home itself.

Even if one spouse does not leave voluntarily, it is possible in Connecticut to seek an order for temporary exclusive possession of the home, which moves one spouse out and gives the other the right to live there. This can happen if two parents create a hostile environment for a child, or if domestic violence is involved and one spouse needs protection from the other. It does not matter whether the home is owned, rented, or leased, or whose name the property technically is in.

Talk to the attorneys at Rutkin, Oldham & Griffin before making any decisions about separation or divorce.

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