How to Make a Spouse Move Out During Divorce

By Beverly Bird

First, the bad news. If you purchased your home jointly with your spouse, he owns it, too. There’s little you can do to force him to leave against his will. In fact, many attorneys will advise him not to go. It might appear to the court that he has left his children with a parent who he is later going to claim should not have custody. The good news is that sometimes, the court might instruct him to move out anyway.

Step 1

Talk it out. Your spouse might not want to be in the house with you any more than you want to live there with him, but he may have some viable concerns about moving out. Try to come up with a plan to address those concerns. Agree to an immediate custody and visitation agreement, filed with the court, so he knows he’ll still have regular time with his children. Agree to a partial settlement, one that just concerns the house. He might leave if he knows it’s not going to jeopardize his financial interest in the home.

Step 2

File a motion with the court for exclusive occupancy of your home pending your final decree. If you win, the judge will order your spouse to leave. However, you will probably have to prove that his presence in the home is causing extreme angst for you and your children because of some circumstance like verbal or alcohol abuse. Some state courts are more willing to entertain this concept than others.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Ask the court for a domestic violence restraining order if you genuinely feel you’re in danger. The procedures in most states involve a temporary order, then a hearing to determine if your allegations are legitimate. If they are, the court will order your spouse to move out and give you occupancy of the home, unless or until you give it up in your final divorce decree.

Step 4

Many courts will not award a final restraining order unless there’s been actual physical violence. If you get a temporary restraining order because your spouse threatened violence, it may not be enough to keep him out of the home permanently, pending your divorce. Courts are also becoming more wary of spouses making false claims of violence because it may be the only way they can get their partners to leave the home. If the court denies you a final restraining order after your temporary order, your spouse can return home in a few weeks and the situation could be worse than before because he's angry over what you've done. If you’re suffering domestic violence, speak with an attorney as soon as possible to explore your options.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Leaving a Matrimonial Home Before a Divorce


Related articles

How to Enforce a Divorce Decree Without an Attorney

Achieving a divorce decree you can live with is sometimes just the first part of the battle. Fortunately, the law is set up to allow you to compel your ex to comply with the terms of your decree or judgment, even if he refuses. Your decree is an enforceable court order, so if you reach out to the court, justice will almost invariably be done. It might take some time and effort, however.

What to Do When Your Wife Wants a Divorce

Women initiate two out of every three divorces, according to Divorce Lawyer Source, quoting the National Center for Health Statistics. The statistics are even higher for no-fault divorces and for spouses with college educations. When wives want to end a marriage, their husbands experience many of the same issues women do when the shoe is on the other foot. But they might have some added concerns as well.

Can One Spouse Kick Another out of the House in a Divorce in Illinois?

Divorce forces spouses to divide their property. They may agree on how to divide smaller assets like furniture and clothing, but it can be difficult to divide larger assets like the marital home, even before a divorce is final. However, Illinois spouses can be removed from the marital home before a divorce only under limited circumstances.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Residence Rights During Divorce

When a couple decides to end their marriage, it doesn't automatically follow that one spouse will pack his bags and ...

Florida Divorce Property Laws

Florida law “presumes” that the fairest way to end a marriage is to give each spouse 50 percent of the property ...

How to Obtain a Legal Separation if a Spouse Refuses to Leave in North Carolina

Unfortunately for some spouses in North Carolina, separation is often the only way they can obtain a divorce. The state ...

Rights on Temporary Possession of a Marital Home

When a couple marries and purchases a home together, then one files for divorce, this does not automatically grant ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED