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Can you stay in the home after asking for a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Divorce

The first thing your spouse tells you when you alert them to the fact that you want to get a divorce is that they’re expecting you to move out. They may even tell you that you have to be out by the end of the day and that you should begin getting all of your things together.

But you just wanted to end the marriage, and you were not planning to leave the house yet. You know that it can be awkward to both be living in the same place while you go through the divorce process, but you can’t imagine that that gives your spouse the right to kick you out of the house. Can they do so?

Do you both own the home?

If both of you own the home, neither one of you can kick the other one out. It doesn’t matter who asked for the divorce. It doesn’t matter if both of you want to get divorced or if you’d like to stay together. It doesn’t even matter if this is a contentious divorce or not. 

People who have their names on the title to a house have the right to live on that property. No one else can kick them out, even if that person also has a right to be there – as your spouse does if they are a co-owner.

Of course, many people will leave the home voluntarily, but that’s not always a wise idea. The only reason that you would actually have to do so is if your spouse is able to obtain a court order, instructing you to vacate the premises. You would have to follow that order, but these are given out very rarely, and usually only in cases of domestic violence or abuse.

If your divorce gets complex, you need to know exactly what steps to take and what rights you have.