Initiating a divorce is often the beginning of a process that can take months or even years to complete. While many couples are aware that issues like child custody and alimony will arise during a divorce, divorcing couples in Birmingham often fail to consider other living arrangements. Just because a divorce is initiated, however, does not mean that one spouse will immediately leave the marital residence. In many situations, spouses have contributed to the marital home which makes it difficult to determine which party should leave the marital residence.
Individuals who are faced with a dilemma concerning which spouse will maintain occupancy of the marital home frequently turn to the experience of a top Birmingham divorce lawyer. Clients also often benefit from understanding some of the issues that arise during a divorce concerning ownership and occupancy of the marital home.
In the state of Alabama, both spouses have an equal right to the marital home until a judge enters an order for exclusive possession of the residence. This order can take one of several forms. Until this order is entered, a party cannot take action to assert exclusive control over the marital home. Not only should spouses resist performing these types of controlling actions, spouses should also avoid moving out of the marital home prior to the judge’s order because an early move out of a marital residence can potentially be used to argue that the spouse who moved out has sufficient resources to do so.
The granting of exclusive occupancy of the marital home in Birmingham is not available during all divorces. Temporary exclusive occupancy is only available in some circumstances where a spouse has a legitimate reason why the other spouse should be removed from the home.
One of the most common types of orders that dictates exclusive possession of a marital home is when domestic violence occurs between divorcing spouses. In these types of situations, a court might grant either a protection from abuse order or an ex parte order.
When a petitioning spouse’s safety is threatened due to domestic violence, there must be an ample amount of evidence to justify exclusive occupancy of the marital home. These types of evidence can include: any prior history of domestic violence, the availability of a protection order, medical evidence of physical abuse, and prior police intervention regarding the couple.
There must be a greater reason for a court to grant an exclusive occupancy order rather than the couple simply not getting along any longer. If there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate why an exclusive order should be granted, courts also have a tendency to deny an individual’s requests. A special note should be made of the duration of exclusive possession orders, which only remain in existence while a divorce is pending.
If you are involved in the middle of a divorce process in Birmingham and concerned about ownership of the marital home, do not hesitate to retain the services of a top Birmingham family law attorney. At Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC LLC, our legal talent offers strong representation and knows how to help clients navigate a variety of divorce-related issues.
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