You want to file for a divorce. And the thought of living with your spouse while going through the divorce process is frightening. You want to have peace in your home while you await your final hearing, and wonder if you can make your spouse move out of the marital home. The answer to your question is “maybe”.
If you seek to have your spouse removed from the marital home, you would file a motion for exclusive use and possession of the marital home, schedule a hearing, and be heard by the judge assigned to your divorce case.
WHAT IS EXCLUSIVE USE AND POSSESSION OF THE MARITAL HOME
Exclusive use and possession of the marital home is when one spouse is granted the right to stay and live the marital home while the divorce is pending, requiring the other spouse to move out involuntarily.
WHEN MUST MY SPOUSE MOVE OUT
If you are granted exclusive use and possession of the marital home, your spouse will be required to move out immediately or by a specific date determined by the judge. Your spouse will then be prohibited from returning to the marital home for any reason.
HOW DO JUDGES MAKE THEIR DECISION
Judges will look at many factors when ruling on request for exclusive use and possession of the marital home. They look to see if there is domestic violence – if your spouse is assaulting or threatening you or your children. They are looking for behavior of your spouse that reaches a level the judge would believe to be harmful to you or your children.
WHEN YOU WILL NOT BE GRANTED EXCLUSIVE USE AND POSSESSION OF THE MARITAL HOME
You will not prevail on a motion for exclusive use and possession of the marital home simply because it is “uncomfortable” to live with your spouse. Your justification must reach a level that the judge believes there is domestic violence taking place in the home.
IF I AM GRANTED EXCLUSIVE USE AND POSSESSION OF THE MARITAL HOME CAN I CHANGE THE LOCKS
If you are granted exclusive use and possession of the marital home, you have the right to change the locks – and should do so immediately to prevent your spouse from returning to the marital home when you are not present.
WHO PAYS THE MORTGAGE OR RENT
If you are granted exclusive use and possession of the marital home, you may be required to be responsible for the expenses of the marital home (mortgage/rent, utilities, taxes, and insurance).
The judge will look at the financial situation of you and your spouse and determine who will have the financial responsibilities of payment of the expenses of the marital home through the pendency of the divorce. Be aware that there is a risk associated with a request for exclusive use and possession of the marital home, as these expenses can be assessed to you, your spouse, or a percentage allocated to both of you.
GRAND RAPIDS COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE ATTORNEY SERVING KENT, OTTAWA, AND ALLEGAN COUNTY.
If you are contemplating or in the process of a divorce or separation, contact the Michigan divorce attorney, Schmitt Law, PLLC. Our office understands that family law matters often involve complex relationships and dynamics that can enhance decision-making stress. We provide clients with the security to approach these challenges with confidence. Our dedicated attorney will provide clients with individualized attention and strategic case preparation to address all parts of their cases. We invite you to contact Schmitt Law, PLLC today by completing our online contact form, or calling us at (616) 608-4634 to schedule a consultation.