Oftentimes, when couples decide they are going to divorce, one party will voluntarily leave the family home, allowing the other individual to stay in the house during the divorce process. This is most common when the person who bears less of the parenting responsibilities can see the bigger picture and understands the importance of keeping the kids together with the primary caregiver in a stable environment. That said, there are many situations in which a spouse refuses to vacate the marital property. The disagreement over who should remain in the marital home can become extremely contentious. What remedies are available for a spouse who is trying to get his or her partner to leave the family home?
Like many issues in family law, the question of whether or not one can force a soon-to-be-ex is highly case-specific and requires that the judge weighs several factors. Courts are generally reluctant to kick someone out of the house because they realize that the situation may become permanent. A court will only force a party to vacate the family home if the following standard, set forth in M.G.L. Chapter 208 Section 34B, is met: “Any court having jurisdiction of actions for divorce [may] order the husband or wife to vacate forthwith the marital home for a period of time not exceeding ninety days, and upon further motion for such additional period of time as the court deems necessary or appropriate if the court finds, after a hearing, that the health, safety or welfare of the moving party or any minor children residing with the parties would be endangered or substantially impaired by a failure to enter such an order.” The standard imposed by G.L. c. 208, sec. 34B is strict and mere stress, discomfort and trivial disagreements will not support a Motion to Vacate.
If you are considering trying to get your spouse to vacate the marital home or if you are concerned that your spouse is planning to force you to leave your residence, you should consult with a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney. In general, you will only have one opportunity to present your case, so you want to be sure to present your strongest argument in an organized and deliberate manner. The Law Offices of Matthew T. Desrochers, P.C. will advocate fervently on your behalf. For a free consultation, contact The Law Offices of Matthew T. Desrochers, P.C. at (781) 279-1822.