Once a marriage ends, your former partner may be ready to move on from the relationship but not ready to move out of a joint house. When both partners legally own a home and neither wants to give up his or her rights to the marital property, things can quickly become complicated. While it is recommended that both parties remain in the home during divorce proceedings to avoid raising their living expenses or losing any right to occupy, there are times when it is best for a person physically and emotionally to leave the house. However, once you leave (or if you choose to stay), there are certain things you should never do to get a spouse to move out during a separation.
Change the Locks
The first thing many angry spouses say is that they are going to change the locks on their house as soon as their partner leaves. Regardless of what books, television, and movies claim, that is one of the worst things that you can do. Before the divorce is finalized, you cannot prevent your spouse from accessing property that is legally his or hers. Unless you have successfully obtained a protective order, you need to leave the locks alone or give your spouse a copy of the new key. The last thing you want is to find yourself in front of a judge explaining why you are barring your spouse from entering the house.
Get a Security System
A security system is an excellent way to protect your family and belongings, but if you did not have one before your divorce was initiated, now is not the time to purchase one, especially without telling your spouse. Getting a security system and not telling your spouse in the hopes that setting off the alarm will make him or her leave can lead to serious trouble. If your spouse has moved out voluntarily and you would like to get an alarm for your own personal protection, discuss your decision with your attorney first. Be prepared to give your spouse the access code information if it is requested.
Turn Off Utilities
One of the worst things that you can do is turning off the utilities in your home without giving your spouse proper notice. Even if necessary utilities such as water and electricity are in your name, the judge hearing your case may not look favorably on a person who turns off the utilities, leaving a spouse and children without heat or running water. If your spouse has a restraining order against you, turning off the utilities in his or her home is a violation that could create even more legal problems for you.
Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum
Living with a spouse during a divorce is often intolerable, but doing something that the judge or court system disapproves of is even worse. Before making any move on your own to compel your spouse to move out of a joint home, contact the divorce attorneys of Vayman & Teitelbaum. Our attorneys can review your case and discuss your situation with you so that you can determine the best way to protect your rights and avoid making any crucial errors. With offices throughout the Atlanta metro area, we are ready to start working on your behalf immediately, so contact our office today.