If there are children involved, the parent who spends the most time with the kids, or who provides their primary care, normally keeps the house. If you don't have children, however, and the house is only one spouse's separate property, that spouse can legally ask the other to leave.
If you have not raised children and you own the house together, however, this question gets more difficult to answer. Neither one of you can legally kick the other out. You can request that the other person leave, but he or she doesn't have to.
If you and your spouse can't reach a decision, the court will decide the issue for you during divorce proceedings or earlier (if you request a temporary order).
If your spouse has the locks changed or in any other way keeps you from getting inside the home, you can call the police. The police will likely force your spouse to open the door and let you in or else they will be jailed.
When you both own the home, you can only get your spouse to leave if she or he has physically abused you (committed domestic violence) and a restraining order is granted by a judge.
This is just a brief summary to help guide you early in the separation or divorce. If you have any further questions about divorce, custody or adoption, please call us at (570) 644-0481 or use the Contact form to the right to confidentially email us.
We look forward to hearing from you and helping you!Back to our Practices page.
We will never share your email address or phone number.