By Mike Stetzer
Sometimes when a divorce proceeding begins, one spouse decides to kick the other out of the house. Occasionally, this is how one of the partners learns of the divorce - think the cliche of coming home to see your bags packed on the door step with the locks changed.
It's something people often accept as part of a divorce process, but it is a much more complicated issue than many of us think.
If you are in the process of a divorce but unsure of what to do, an attorney might be able to help. A local divorce attorney could be a good tool to assess what rights you have and help you get what you are entitled to under the law. To connect with an attorney today, just fill out the short form below.
Typically, laws that govern the divorce process and property rights are state laws, so the best recourse may be to speak with an attorney in your area if you have been kicked out of your home by your spouse.
In general, regardless of whose name the house is in (or the lease if renting), neither party can kick the other out of the marital house. Both parties have an interest in the property.
For one party to be legally removed from the house before the divorce is finalized, the courts will typically need to be involved, such as if one party receives a restraining order against the other. In this case, one spouse may be able to legally prevent the other from entering the marital home.
Another way one spouse may bar the other from their home is to petition the court for equitable relief and order your spouse to leave the marital home. By requesting equitable relief, you are asking the court to require that a party do or not do something. This is in contrast to a legal remedy, which is typically monetary in nature only. The process and terminology varies from state to state, but family courts are generally empowered to enter short-term orders to divide property and assign financial obligations while a divorce case is pending.
The courts generally realize that both parties will not want to stay in the same house during a divorce, and many state require spouses to live separately for a period of time before filing the divorce petition or before the divorce can be finalized.
If you have questions about your legal rights, or want to take the proper legal remedies against your spouse, connect with a divorce lawyer today.
Arrange your initial consultation with a divorce attorney in your area. Simply fill out the divorce case review form below to get started.