Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer Giving Valuable Information
Divorce can be extremely confrontational and highly emotional. When sharing a family home and going through a divorce, the issue of who must move out becomes a highly complex legal matter. After all, not all individuals have the legal right to expel someone from the home, especially if both are on the lease or mortgage.
To accurately determine who must leave, there are a few proper methods at a couple’s disposal. However, to assess them, it will depend on several situations. Some may apply to your divorce case, while others may not.
Regardless, please note that the tips in this article are nothing more than tips, and they are not a substitute for legal advice. If you have questions about forcing your ex-spouse out of the family home or would like to know how to legally do so, contact a family law attorney.
Can You Change the Locks to Keep an Ex Out of the Home?
During a divorce, things are likely to become contentious. If your spouse has left home during the divorce, you may be tempted to change the locks and keep him or her out. However, there is a Standing Family Court Order that the status quo must be maintained unless there is a Court Order that provides one spouse exclusive use and possession of home. You cannot keep him out or lock him out without a court order.
Joint Marital Property: Is Your Home Considered Marital Property?
Sometimes, a spouse has purchased a home before the marriage. So, the loan and title are in his or her name. While this may make you assume you have sole rights to the home, that does not always apply. Technically, the assets were premarital, but how your spouse played a role in the maintenance of that home will be a deciding factor for the courts.
For example, even if you have the loan and title in your name and if your spouse helped pay for the mortgage, utilities, insurance, and taxes on the home during the marriage, he or she could claim it was marital property. Also, if the spouse contributed to renovations, upgrades, or improvements that helped boost the property value, he or she too could argue that the equity in that home is marital property.
So, if you own the home, whether you could force the spouse to move out is not always clear – regardless of who is on the loan.
Exclusive Occupancy Court Orders
The only way to legally force a spouse from the marital home is through a court order. Your family law or divorce attorney can request that the judge give you exclusive occupancy during the divorce, as well as afterward. Then, your divorce settlement should dictate the terms of your occupancy, such as being allowed to live there until the children reach 18 years or until the home is no longer suffering from negative equity.
Concerned About the Family Home and Living Arrangements? Contact a Family Law Attorney
Understanding the complexities of occupancy and divorce are not something you should handle on your own. These are difficult areas of the law, and failing to follow the procedures could force you out of your home or suffer penalties as a result. So, contact the family divorce lawyers at Beller & Bustamante, P.L. instead to explore your options.
You can schedule your consultation today at 904-288-4414 or request more information online.