During a divorce, one spouse may wish to bar the other from a shared residence, sometimes going even so far as to change the locks. However, if spouses are co-owners or co signors on a property, or both have a legal right to occupancy, they both retain equal rights to enter the property unless there is an order from the court granting exclusive possession of residence to one spouse while the divorce proceeds.
In cases of domestic violence, a protective order may grant exclusive possession of residence as a form of relief to protect victims of domestic violence from their spouse or partner during the divorce. A respondent to a protective order may be ordered to stay away from the location where the petitioner lives even if the respondent fully or partially owns or leases the property.
The court will determine if the petitioner has a right to occupancy of the residence, which typically is the case if the petitioner is a spouse regardless of their ownership or lease status. If both parties have a legal right to occupancy, the court will weigh the hardships to the respondent against hardships to the petitioner (and any minor children involved under their care) to determine whether exclusive possession of residence will be granted as the divorce proceeds..
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If you have questions regarding exclusive possession of residence during a divorce proceeding, contact divorce lawyer Ronald L Bell & Associates LLC for more information today.