You’ve decided to get divorced.

It’s not an easy decision. In fact, it’s one you’ve struggled with for years.

Now that you’ve made the decision, though, you want to move out because staying in the same house feels awkward.

But, you’ve heard from your friends that if you move out, you’ll have abandoned the home and you’ll lose your claim to its equity (and you have some good equity in your house).

Is that right? Will you lose equity in your home?

The answer: almost certainly no.

Let me explain why.

About 95% of people sell their marital home when they divorce. This means, all you really have to do is divide cash in the divorce, and the court is not going to deprive you of your cash just because you moved out of your house a few months before your divorce was finalized.

So, feel free to move out because it’s awkward, and then you can get divorced. You’ll be fine.

(Note: don’t wait too long to file for divorce after you’ve moved out. If you wait too long — more than a year is a good rule of thumb — , then your spouse may say you shouldn’t get the last year’s worth of equity because you didn’t pay the mortgage. And that is a pretty successful argument. So, make sure you file for divorce within a few months of moving out.)

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