Can You Kick Your Spouse out of the House During a Divorce?
In many divorce cases across Michigan, spouses may continue to live together while the legal process is pending.
Any divorce can be a long and stressful process and may have many moving parts depending on how many assets you and your spouse share. Children and shared businesses can make the process even more complex.
Many people undergoing a divorce ask, “can I kick my spouse out of the house”?
In most cases, the answer is “no.” Until a judge formally rules on a divorce, you cannot legally kick out your spouse, especially if you share ownership of the property. However, there are a few situations where you may lawfully petition to have your spouse vacate your home.
Michigan Divorce and Marital Residence
Unlike some states, Michigan does not require a couple to live separately before the divorce. Many married couples continue living together until their divorce is finalized.
Many couples choose to live together to save on costs and plan accordingly while the divorce is pending. This is especially true for couples who have children or other shared interests within the family home.
Because the marital home is the legal residence of a couple, the law protects both spouses’ right to continue residing there until a judge decides otherwise.
Any attempt to “kick out” a spouse, such as changing the locks on the doors or removing personal property, is against the law. Should you engage in this behavior, your spouse can call law enforcement to regain access to the home.
Legal Options for Living Without Your Spouse During a Divorce
Under a few Michigan legal statutes, there may be ways to get your spouse out of the house while your divorce is pending, but the standards are high.
Under an order of exclusive occupancy, you can petition the court to allow only one spouse to reside in the marital home while the divorce is underway.
This legal order can be issued by a Michigan court under only two circumstances:
- When one spouse has found a new home outside of the marital residence
- When there are issues of domestic violence or abuse
Suppose your spouse voluntarily moves out of the marital home and relocates to a new residence. In that case, the court may grant the order of exclusive occupancy to protect your privacy and provide you with an ordinary sense of living. This order will prevent your spouse from entering the home freely without prior notice.
Sadly, some cases of divorce result from abusive relationships. If you’ve been the victim of any domestic abuse, be it physical, verbal, or sexual, you can petition the court to grant an order of exclusive occupancy. This will ensure you are not subject to any further safety concerns while you finalize the divorce.
In cases of abuse, you can also file a personal protection order with your local court. This legally prevents your spouse from entering the home.
Oakland County Divorce Attorneys
If you’re planning a divorce and want to live in your home alone, you may be able to have the courts grant your request. Consulting with a seasoned divorce law expert will help you get the desired results.
Gucciardo Family Law handles divorce matters across Oakland County. Call us for a free consultation today.
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