If Your Husband Files for Divorce, Can He Ask You to Leave the House Immediately?

I can’t speak for the law in all jurisdictions, but I can tell you what the law is where I practice divorce law (Utah).

Can your spouse ask you to leave the house upon filing for divorce or upon announcing that he or she intends to file for divorce? Sure. Anyone can ask. Can your spouse force you out of the house? That’s a different question.

If the couple acquired their house while married, but unless they structured the purchase in a very unusual and very specific and clear way, so as to ensure that both spouses do not jointly own the property, property acquired by either spouse in his or her own name during the marriage is nevertheless considered marital property, with the exception of property that is acquired by a spouse by gift or by inheritance.

Most married couples by their house together, having it titled jointly in their collective names. If a spouse files for divorce and then turns to the other and says, “Get out of my house,” such a command or demand has no legally enforceable basis.

It gets a little trickier if you’re confronted with the situation when, say, a woman owns a house before she marries, and then after she marries, she and her husband move into her house together. If the husband does not contribute to the mortgage payment, or to the maintenance or improvement of the wife’s house, in the event of divorce she might very well have the legal authority to tell him to “get out of my house,” after all it is her house (the scenario would be no different if the husband owned the house before he married the wife, in case you were curious and unsure). The husband has not acquired any ownership interest in it merely by being married to the owner of the house.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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