Who Gets to Stay in the Marital Home Until the Divorce Is Final?

If you’re in the midst of a divorce, there may be a lot of questions going through your head. Some things could be difficult to understand and some could just be difficult to face. Whether your divorce is amicable or not, this is probably going to be a hard time for everyone involved, so both parties should do as much as possible to keep things running smoothly. If you’ve been wondering who gets to stay in the marital home until the divorce is final and whether you can prevent your spouse from entering, the following should help clear things up.

The Judge Orders a Protection From Abuse

If your spouse has been violent toward you or your children, you could petition the court for an order of protection from abuse. If the judge grants the order, your spouse would have to vacate the premises and keep his or her distance from you and your children. The spouse will typically be allowed back into the home after a certain time frame, sometimes up to three years, but hopefully the divorce will be final by that point.

The Judge Orders Exclusive Possession

If you are living in intolerable conditions within your own home, you can request exclusive possession of the home. For example, if your spouse has already moved on to another relationship and brings his or her new partner home while your children are there, that may be intolerable for you and your children. If your spouse is verbally abusive or a drunk, those behaviors could also be considered intolerable, and you could make that request.

You Lock Your Spouse Out

If your spouse still lives with you in the marital home and there are no orders keeping him or her out, you don’t have the authority to make that call yourself. Locking your spouse out of the house could result in you having to go to court, and it could also end in you losing possession of your home.

Your Spouse Leaves Voluntarily

If your spouse leaves the home voluntarily, you will typically be able to stay in the home yourself. For couples with children, this could play to your favor in getting child custody. It could also help you to gain possession of the home after the divorce is final.

Contacting a Family Lawyer for Help

When you’re dealing with divorce, it’s nice to have someone knowledgeable on your side. Contact a family lawyer, like a family law lawyer in Arlington, VA, today to learn more about marital home possession.

Thank you to the experts at May Law, LLP, for their time and input into family law.