Living together with your ex-spouse after deciding to separate or divorce can be painfully difficult. However, not all spouses go their own way. If your ex is refusing to leave your home, can you evict them? Under some circumstances, you can. Here’s what you should know.
What Is Spousal Eviction?
Eviction is a legal remedy for individuals who lease or own property and need to forcibly remove a tenant from the residence. If evicted, the tenant is required to remove their property and vacate the home within a certain time frame. If they do not, they are likely to face serious legal consequences.
Circumstances That Qualify for Eviction
There are generally just two situations that allow for the legal eviction of a spouse:
Abuse or Domestic Violence
If your spouse has abused you or another family member in the home in a domestic violence dispute, you have the right to seek a protective order against them. If you are currently in danger, this can be done on an emergency basis, and your spouse will be required to leave the home immediately.
You may also be able to evict your spouse from separate property, or property that only you own or rent. Differentiating between community or marital property and separate property can be difficult, because it’s not simply the lack of your spouse’s name on the mortgage or lease that removes their right to access the marital home.
For example, if your spouse has been paying all or a portion of housing costs, or funding repairs or renovations to the home, courts are more likely to consider the property to be marital. This is also the case with any property purchased during the marriage, even if those are funds that only you earned. This is because courts consider earned income during a marriage to be communal property.
However, property that you inherited either before or after the marriage, or property purchased with your own funds before the marriage and not invested in by your spouse, may be considered separate. You may only legally evict your spouse from truly separate property.
Protect Your Rights in an Eviction Case. Call a Lawyer
If you’re considering your legal options to forcibly remove your ex-spouse from your home, it’s important to have adequate guidance and representation. Your attorney can advise you of what options are available and which are in your best interests. Call Tampa family and divorce lawyer 813.873.9047.