How to Prevent Your Spouse from Entering the Family Home

May 7, 2021
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain

Violence in a relationship is the last straw, but as a domestic violence lawyer  from a law firm like the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright can explain, there are steps you need to take to keep yourself safe when you decide to divorce your abusive partner. When you begin the divorce process, there is one major question: Who stays in the house? If you need your partner to leave, here are three tips.

Sometimes Discussion Doesn’t Work

Ordinarily, before you take any legal steps, you would try to discuss divorce with your former partner. If the two of you agree to the divorce, it may be easy to discuss how the two of you should separate throughout the process. Since the two of you have rights to the home, you cannot force him or her to leave. However, if your ex was violent, you should minimize your time near them.

Your spouse has a legal right to stay, but only as long as there isn’t any violence or threat to your health and safety. Most couples are able to talk it over. But, with an abusive spouse, it’s just not an option. If you’re the children’s primary caretaker, it may make more sense for you to stay in the family home.

Use a Court Order

An attempt at obtaining a court order should only be used as a last resort. Most cases that result in one of the homeowners being removed from the house involve domestic violence. You must attempt to file a restraining order against your spouse. This order prevents your spouse from having any contact with you. If it is dangerous mentally or physically for you or your children, most courts will grant you a restraining order with compelling evidence. 

Wait Until Finalization

If your ex does not want to leave and you cannot obtain a court order, you need to wait until the finalization of the divorce. In the meantime, you should be negotiating which partner should stay in the family home. You may decide that one person keeps it and buys the other out or you may choose to sell the property and divide the proceeds. When it comes to negotiation, speak with your lawyer in advance to help you handle the process.

When it comes to divorce, deciding who can stay in the family home can be complex. This is especially true when you own a home together. To find out how you can handle removing your ex-partner from the premises, set up a consultation with a family lawyer as soon as possible.