But what if you have followed this advice? You and your spouse are in the home. You don’t plan on fighting for it, are in fact hoping to sell it and split the proceeds, but at the same time, you’re not in a position to move yet. Or, perhaps you do want it, and are planning on refiancing it if you get it.
Either way, your soon-to-be ex has stopped paying any of the bills. Maybe he or she is squirrelling money away in fear of what’s going to happen, or maybe this is just a vicious maneuver.
If there are children in the house you might also ask your lawyer to file a request for an ex parte temporary child custody order. If the judge grants your request your spouse will not be able to remove the children from the family home after moving out. You will have temporary physical custody, though you and your spouse will typically retain joint legal custody.
But temporary orders do give you a bit of an edge. If the temporary situation seems to be working many judges will simply transition those orders into permanent ones. If you don’t really want the house and were hoping to negotiate for some other distribution of property the strategy could backfire. In some cases, it might be a better move, in the long run, to just bite the bullet and pay the bills yourself if you can, since that’s what you’ll be doing anyway with the spouse out of the house. The judge will certainly take that fact into account later as he or she distributes the property.