Virginia Dugan, a Family Law Specialist at Atkinson & Kelsey, P.A, answers:
Is it possible to make one spouse leave the matrimonial home before the divorce is finalized?
Typically, when you file for divorce or you’re served with papers, you will also get a temporary domestic order, which specifically says you cannot force someone out of the marital home.
However, if there is intimidation, domestic violence, something that’s going on that’s making you very, very uncomfortable – for example, the spouse comes in and out of the house at all times of the day and night, furniture is missing, things have been gone through – you can petition the court for exclusive use of the marital residence. At that point, the judge will make the decision of who is going to be staying in the house and who is going to be moving out.
Virginia Dugan is a family law attorney with the Albuquerque firm of Atkinson & Kelsey. A recognized Specialist in Family Law and a frequent speaker and writer on family law topics, she exclusively practices divorce and matrimonial law. She served as President of the State Bar of New Mexico in 2006 and continues to serve as Vice Chair of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Committee. Learn more at www.atkinsonkelsey.com