Young couple surrounded by moving boxes

What to Do When a Spouse Refuses to Move Out During a Divorce?

Going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotionally taxing experience, and the situation can be made even more complicated when a spouse refuses to move out of the shared home. A North Carolina family law attorney understands the frustration and stress that this can cause, and we are here to help guide you through the process.

Understand Your Legal Rights in Regard to the Shared Home

Family law judges have broad discretion on their decisions at the trial level because so many of the issues they deal with involve unique facts and judgment calls. Your lawyer can give you guidance on how a judge might rule on a particular issue regarding a shared home during divorce, but details can be unpredictable in family court, especially from one judge to another. 

Consider Mediation as a Way to Come to a Resolution

Sometimes, it is best for a divorcing couple to try to resolve issues in the case themselves with the support of a skilled mediator. Unlike a judge, the mediator will not issue orders or make decisions. Instead, the mediator facilitates the parties in talking out the areas of disputes and trying to find middle ground. Middle ground, however, does not mean splitting everything in half. A fair and equitable compromise is one in which both parties agree to a sensible outcome.

Seek Legal Counsel to Determine the Best Course of Action

You do not want to engage in self-help like throwing your spouse’s belongings out in the yard. Drastic actions could cause the judge to see you as a vindictive spouse. Instead, you should talk to your lawyer about your legal options in the situation of a spouse who refuses to move out during the divorce. If you and your spouse both have attorneys, they might be able to negotiate a resolution of this issue.

Protect Your Personal Safety and Well-Being

If there is domestic violence happening or some other safety issue, you should put your safety first. If you have to move out to avoid abuse, the judge could still award you the house later in the divorce. Also, emotional abuse or living in a psychological war zone can be justifiable reasons to have concern for your well-being. Talk to your attorney about your situation and discuss your options.

Take Steps to Move Forward and Plan for the Future

When the divorce is over, you will need to have a place to live where you can be safe and afford to pay the bills. You should start thinking about what living arrangements you will have long-term after the divorce, especially if you have minor children.

Going through a divorce is never easy, especially when a spouse refuses to move out of the shared home. It can be a frustrating and stressful situation, but it is important to remember that you have legal rights and options. We understand that this can be a difficult time and we are here to help you navigate the process. Talking to a family lawyer to determine the best course of action for your situation can alleviate a lot of stress. Contact our law firm for a free consult.