Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Disputes Over Use of Marital Home
In a divorce proceeding, the divorcing couple's largest asset is almost always their home. Sometimes there is a request by one party to have exclusive use and possession of the marital home during the pendency of the divorce. Such a request usually has to do with who has primary residential responsibility of the minor children. When one party is granted temporary exclusive possession of the marital home, questions often arise as to what the other party's rights are to the marital home while they are not in possession. If an Order has been entered that states that one party has exclusive possession of a marital home, the other party cannot enter the premises, even though they may own the home. If they enter the home without the express permission of the possessing spouse, they may be subject to criminal sanctions as well as civil contempt. Therefore, if you are not granted possession of the marital home during the pendency of a divorce, it is highly suggested that you do not enter the home without the express permission and knowledge of the possessing spouse. Even though this may seem unfair, you are bound by the Temporary Relief Order until a final hearing on the matter of equitable distribution of marital assets.