Exclusive Possession and Divorce

Sometimes when a divorce is pending, a party may decide that they no longer wish to live in the marital residence. When a party moves out and establishes residence elsewhere, the party who remains in the home may seek and will usually always be granted an order for exclusive possession of the marital residence while the divorce is pending. This means that even if the house is owned in both names of the parties, only the party who is living in the house will be allowed in or on the property while the divorce is pending. If you are thinking of leaving your home and moving out, it is advisable to make sure that you have secured all of your possessions before you move as you could be prevented from re-entering the property. Until a court order is entered, however, if you left and decide to return unless there is an order preventing it, you can always return to the house. If your spouse leaves, you can change the locks, however, until you get a court order, they can break a window and legally gain access. You may want to either get a written stipulation for exclusive possession or a court order.