When two married people decide to part ways, there are many things to figure out, ranging from how finances will be split to what the future will look like for each person independent of one another and more. One important consideration is where each party will live. While property determinations will be part of the divorce settlement, there may need to be an earlier decision about who will live within the home during the divorce process itself. Here’s what you should know about vacating the marital home during divorce—

Do You Have to Vacate the Marital Home During the Divorce?

Choosing to vacate the marital home during the divorce is a personal choice and, in most cases, not one that anyone will be forced into. It is strongly recommended that the divorce parties work together to determine what is best in terms of one party leaving the marital home (although it should be noted that whatever decision is made may impact the court’s ultimate divorce judgment). In some cases, a court may issue a marital vacate order. 

What’s a Marital Vacate Order?

A marital vacate order is an order from the court requiring that one party to the divorce vacate the marital home during the divorce process. It is not a divorce judgment and does not necessarily mean that the party who is required to vacate will not be awarded the home as part of the final divorce settlement. 

Either party to the divorce is allowed to file a motion with the court that requests the court take action to remove the other from the family residence. The court will consider the case and grant the order in the event that there is evidence that the health, safety, or welfare of any person living within the home, including children, is at risk if the defendant is allowed to remain within the home. 

Can I force My Spouse to Leave the Marital Home During a Divorce? 

If you want your spouse to live elsewhere during your divorce, the best thing to do is to have a conversation with them to reach an agreement about living arrangements. If this proves impossible and you feel that you or anyone in your home is at risk of harm or the threat of harm, you should consult with an attorney about the possibility of filing an order with the court to request the removal of your spouse from the family home. A marital vacate ex parte order (an order that is issued without a hearing) lasts for up to 90 days, with the possibility of another 90-day extension following a hearing. 

Why You Need to Work with a Skilled Divorce Attorney

If you are getting a divorce and you’re at risk of harm if your current spouse remains in the marital home, it’s important to work with a skilled divorce attorney who can apprise you of your rights and help you to pursue a marital vacate order. To start protecting yourself today, call the Law Office of Heather M. Ward at (617) 903-8955.