Most people think when their spouse moves out, they won’t have to worry about them coming back into the house. In the past, propriety kept people from acting in a manner that would put their spouse in an awkward position. Today, people’s actions can sometimes be less straightforward. The question of whether a spouse can re-enter the marital home during the divorce comes down to a few critical factors.
Divorce Practices in Your State
In some states, it is nearly impossible for a spouse to be kept out of the marital home before a divorce is final. In other states, it’s part of the initial divorce petition for an agreement to be worked out. Your lawyers negotiate a settlement agreement detailing who stays in the marital home and who should find a new location, or if you will both stay in the house. If your state does not resolve this issue, then your spouse can still enter into your marital home, even if they moved out previously.
Even if your state doesn’t make separation agreements, most will let you enter a petition. That petition asks for sole right to the home. You will need to prove that you and your spouse cannot stay under the same roof or that your spouse should not be able to just come in and out of the house at will. For example, physical abuse is an appropriate reason to petition for your spouse to be denied access. Another reason could be a concern that you and your spouse will argue in front of your children, causing them significant stress and disruption.
If your spouse has moved out of the house and is continuously coming back to pick things up without notice or other reasons, you have a right to expect privacy. Your spouse has found a new location to live and has their privacy. You should be able to have expectations of the same. Therefore, your spouse should at least request a specific time to have access to their belongings, instead of merely showing up. Your lawyer can ask that your spouse follow these rules before the divorce is finalized.
The best option to get help with these issues is to contact a lawyer in your area. A divorce lawyer will know what the law is regarding marital property and your spouse. You can provide them with your specific information, and they can help you with how to proceed.
Tension is typically high during a divorce. Contact a family law attorney today to help you navigate through this difficult time.