Spousal Right to Enter Marital Home During Divorce
Divorces range from unpleasant to downright dreadful. You probably want your divorce to be as stress-free as possible. However, you may be unclear on some of the rules. One major point of contingency can be your home. The divorce will settle how assets are split, but what happens in the meantime? You may be wondering if you can prevent your spouse from entering your home during the divorce proceedings. The answer depends on the situation.
Assess the Situation
Consider your current living situation. If you and your spouse are occupying a home together, it is referred to as your marital home. Unless there is a court order, both spouses have the right to continue living there. This can quickly lead to an uncomfortable environment. Take your time to consider why you would choose to stay under the same roof and what is best for everyone involved including children as a lawyer, can explain. If you voluntarily leave, it does not usually forfeit your rights to return or to receive your share of the assets.
Follow the Rules
Excluding extreme circumstances, spouses should be allowed uninterrupted access to the home. That means you are not allowed to bar access by changing locks or security codes. Nor can you kick your spouse out on your own accord.
Learn the Exceptions
There are a few exceptions to the rules. If your living situation extends past regular discomfort, you may be able to get help. No one should have to live in a home where they are unsafe. For real threats to your safety, your family’s safety, or your property, the court may make an official order to have one spouse removed. A common example would be if a restraining order were in place. Another exception is if one spouse establishes a new home. Only the spouse that moved into the new home would have the right to access it. Because that spouse now has privacy, the spouse remaining in the marital home should also be granted privacy.
There is no cut-and-dry answer when it comes to your living situation during a divorce. Usually, divorce isn’t something most people have much experience in. If you are having a difficult time understanding your rights, don’t be afraid to get advice.
Going through a divorce is not easy. If you and your spouse are living together during your proceedings, take a look at your situation. Learn about your rights and exceptions to the rules. Give a divorce lawyer a call today to stay protected.