Virginia Family Law Resource

Virginia Family Law Resource

4 Ways to Keep Your Soon to be Former Spouse Out of Your Home

Posted in Separation

Exclusive Use and Possession of the Marital Residence

The Scenario:

Husband and Wife separate. Husband moves out. Wife, a stay at home mother, remains home with the children.

Can Wife change the locks?
Can Husband move back home even after moving out?
How can Wife keep Husband out of the home?

The answers to these questions depend on whether Wife has “exclusive use and possession” of the marital home.

What is Exclusive Use and Possession?

Exclusive use and possession is a legal phrase used to identify the person who has the right to live in and control the marital residence. During the marriage, both parties have a right to come and go from the marital residence as they please. After the parties separate, the right to enter and leave the marital residence still belongs to both parties equally unless a court order is signed that gives one party exclusive use over the other.

If granted exclusive use and possession of the marital residence, the party can change the locks, disallow the other from entering the property and prevent any moving back in that might otherwise occur. The challenge is obtaining such an order.

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Separated? Here are 5 Ways to Protect Yourself in the Divorce

Posted in Separation

Tips for those who are recently separated

When couples separate, they often agree that the divorce will be amicable. Even if there is little or no property to split, and you and your soon to be former spouse agree on every issue at the time you split, you should still take a few steps to protect yourself. Hopefully no problems will arise and you are a step ahead. But if they do, by following these five steps you can protect yourself as you go through the divorce process.

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