There are some spouses who mistakenly believe they have the right to deny the other spouse access to the marital home upon filing for divorce. As discussed in a previous blog post, the marital residence may be considered marital property, which means both spouses are entitled to access to the marital residence without restriction. Therefore, one spouse should not evict or lock the other spouse out of the marital home upon filing for divorce unless he/she has obtained a court order granting permission to do so. This is the case whether the marital residence is titled solely in one spouse’s name, or even if the residence is leased or rented. If there are questions as to whether the marital residence is the separate property of one spouse, that spouse should still err on the side of caution and not evict the other spouse without court permission since the determination of whether property is separate or of the marriage is quite complex and is made on a case-by-case basis.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOUR SPOUSE HAS DENIED YOU ACCESS TO YOUR MARITAL HOME AFTER FILING FOR DIVORCE?
You should file for a temporary hearing with the court where your divorce is filed as soon as possible. Courts do not look favorably upon parties who unilaterally evict their spouses from the marital residence without having obtained court approval to do so. The court can order your spouse to allow you access to the marital residence and/or make a determination as to which spouse will stay in the home and pay the mortgage while the divorce action is pending. Dealing with a spouse who evicts you or changes the locks to your home after filing for divorce can be devastating both financially and emotionally. An attorney can be especially helpful in this situation by ensuring that the matter is immediately brought to the court’s attention and resolved as quickly as possible. If you’ve been evicted from your marital home by your spouse, contact the experienced family law attorneys at Faucette Law Firm at (770) 485-6620.