Your spouse comes to you and says that he or she would like to file for divorce. Moreover, now that you know, your spouse tells you that they’d like you to move out of the house as soon as possible.
You understand why your spouse would want you to leave, as it would be awkward to live together while actively getting divorced, but you still start wondering about your options. Can they force you to leave the home and find another place to live?
The house is still legally your home
There’s really only one thing to consider here: Do you own the home? If you own it, even if you own it jointly with your spouse, you do not have to leave. They can’t force you out. That home is your property and you have a right to live there as long as you own it.
In fact, there are those that say leaving the family home is a massive mistake that could impact everything else that transpires. You could put yourself at a disadvantage when it comes time to look at custody, support and the division of the marital property.
The exception to this rule is if the court has passed down an order saying you have to leave. They’ll generally only do this in cases where abuse or domestic violence have been alleged, as the court wants to keep everyone safe.
If your spouse does not have a court order, though, they have no legal right to kick you out. You can refuse to leave and tell them that they are free to find somewhere else to live if they no longer want to live with you.
Understanding your rights in a divorce
If this surprises you, then you can see why it is so important to know what rights you have as you work through a divorce case.