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How do I get my spouse out of the house?

This is a common question at the beginning of every divorce. You are ready to file for divorce and you want your spouse to leave. Without an agreement as to who will live in the house while your divorce is pending, you have basically two options:

  1. File for a Protective Order.

    This is not suggested if there has never been domestic violence or you are not in imminent fear of physical harm. Absent one of those scenarios, you will likely not get a protective order. Chances are, if you truly needed a protective order to protect yourself from your spouse, you would have already taken the steps to obtain one before reading this article. Protective orders are taken very seriously by the Courts and you should only request one based on actual events that have happened with your spouse or if you are in fear of imminent harm. If you are granted a protective order, then your spouse will be served by sheriff and ordered to leave your home.

  2. Request a Provisional Hearing.

    A provisional hearing is scheduled when a divorce is pending upon request by one of the parties. These hearings are beneficial to make sure the marital bills are being paid, to decide who will live in the house while the divorce is pending, and to address child-related items. Sometimes, the Court will not grant temporary possession of the residence to either party because there is no feasible living arrangement for the other spouse that the parties can afford. However, if the parties have funds to support a two-household arrangement while the divorce is pending, and the living situation has become futile, then the Court may award one spouse with the house while the divorce is pending. The Court will also decide who will pay for what while the case is pending to ensure all bills are kept current.

You can always move out of the house, too, if that is something you are willing to consider. If there are minor children, then you should seek advice from an experienced family law attorney before you move out with or without your children.