Living together while going through a divorce is challenging for even the friendliest couples. If you and your spouse are not on good terms, the stress of dealing with each other on a day-to-day basis can be maddening at times. It can also be stressful for the kids, who are likely to witness the two of you arguing about many scary subjects such as selling the house and who they should live with. In cases of physical and/ or emotional abuse, living together with a pending divorce can be outright dangerous.
Regardless of the reasons for divorce, most couples establish themselves in separate households long before the divorce is finalized. However, you may be in a position where your spouse refuses to move, while knowing that you cannot afford to move out on your own. At this point, you may be wondering if there are legal actions you can take in order to force your spouse to leave the marital home. Unfortunately, your options are fairly limited unless there has been a history or incident of domestic violence. In that case, you can immediately file for a restraining order at your county superior court. Since a restraining order prohibits your spouse from having any physical or verbal contact with you, he or she would be forced to move out of the marital home.
Aside to domestic violence, there are very few reasons that would compel a judge to force either spouse out of the marital home. In general, spouses are told to resolve their divorce as soon as possible, or sell the home and use the money to move into separate homes. The court will, however, consider extreme circumstances that show it would be dangerous to you, or your children if you and your spouse continue to live together. For example, if your spouse creates an unstable home environment due to a drug or alcohol addiction, a judge may agree that he or she should be removed from your home. You may also have a good case if your spouse moved out voluntarily, but is now asking to move back in. This particular issue was addressed in the 1982 case of Degenaars v. Degenaars, in which a judge ruled that the defendant's wish to return home was too disruptive and traumatic to the children.
If you think there are compelling reasons for having your spouse removed from your home, please speak with the family law attorneys of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. Our attorneys include Vincent C. DeLuca, who has been certified as a matrimonial law attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The matrimonial law certification is only given to attorneys who represent the highest levels of education, legal knowledge and trial experience in the New Jersey family courts. This level of experience is essential when dealing with highly complex family law issues such as forcing a spouse out of the marital home. Mr. DeLuca looks forward to speaking with you during a free initial consultation.