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What Should I Do If My Ex Won’t Leave Our House?

  • 14 Oct 2022
spouse won't leave house

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Whether you have previously agreed that the house should be in your possession after your divorce or you decided to sell it and split the proceeds, it can be frustrating to deal with one party refusing to leave the marital home. If your ex won’t vacate your home, you’ve got a few options.

First, Is the House Worth It?

Legal battles, even when there isn’t an issue with one party digging their heels in, can be long, emotionally fraught, and expensive. Before you decide to undertake this particular fight with your ex, take some time to think about whether it’s truly worth it.

If you were planning to live in the house following your divorce, realizing that maybe you’re better off spending your money renting an apartment or buying a new home can be difficult. And if you’ve got kids whose lives you were hoping to keep more stable by living in the home they know, it can be even more frustrating.

But sit down and really think about everything that comes along with keeping—and fighting for—the house. Being able to pay for the mortgage, taxes, utilities, upkeep, and everything else that goes along with owning a home can be a lot, so take a careful look at your budget and make sure you can afford it all and still leave enough money for your other needs and financial goals. It may be a good idea to book some time with a financial advisor to determine whether keeping the house makes good financial sense or if you’re too emotionally invested.

If you do decide that you can financially stay in the house, the next question to consider is if you’re willing and able to take on the cost of a legal battle over it. You may determine that the cost of hiring a lawyer isn’t enough to outweigh your connection to the home, and that’s OK. Only you can make this decision, and there isn’t a wrong one if you’re happy with the outcome.

Try Asking Nicely

This should go without saying, but typical courteous interactions can quickly go out the window during a divorce.

If your ex is refusing to leave, try asking them nicely. Make sure to include the need for a solid timeline on when you can expect them out. Your ex may know full well that they need to leave, but they don’t yet realize it’s something that has a deadline.

Get an Order of Protection

Going for an order of protection should be only used in absolutely necessary situations, such as if your spouse engages in acts of domestic violence against you or your children. These incidents can include stalking, kidnapping, harassment, assault, or battery.

You don’t need an attorney to file for an order of protection, though having one present can help to strengthen your request.

If an order of protection is granted, your spouse will be required to stay away from you, including vacating the home where you live. 

Let the Court Intervene

If there’s no need for an order of protection in your situation, it may be best to wait and present your case to the judge in your divorce proceedings.

Say you and your ex had a verbal agreement that they would leave the home, and you have since exchanged a few emails or texts discussing some of the logistics. Now, your ex is refusing to leave the home. 

Presenting not only your verbal agreement, but also the subsequent texts and emails, to the judge allows you to get an official determination regarding who gets to occupy the home. Once that’s made, you have a lot better standing if your ex still refuses to leave.

Divorce Attorneys in Maryland

Each divorce is unique, and you deserve a divorce attorney who recognizes your individual needs during the process. At the Law Offices of Sandra Guzman-Salvado, our team guides you through the divorce process, keeping you informed every step of the way. Schedule your consultation today!

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