Forcing a Spouse Out of the Family Home

Forcing a spouse out of the family home is not as simple as saying I want to separate:  move out according to Annapolis, Maryland family law.

Question: Can a titled spouse evict a non-titled spouse out of the house during the pendency of a divorce?
So the short answer to the question posed is that generally a title holder of a house can evict a non-titled spouse. However, to do so, the titled spouse will have to file certain legal petitions with a Maryland district court. And despite the fact that a non-titled spouse holder does not have a right to possession of the house, a Maryland district court judge may decide not to permit an eviction – which may necessitate the filing of an appeal. And to those who are frustrated by the legal process, self-help might prove equally unhelpful. Few police departments will involve themselves in a domestic dispute regarding the possessory rights of spouses in a divorce case without a court order to shield them from claims of improper arrest and the civil liability associated with it.

This week’s Wednesday question and answer highlights one of the difficulties of exercising and enforcing one’s legal rights in a civil action, especially one that touches upon issues of family law. The problem is that a party can have all the rights on the books but can still be practically denied those rights because the legal process at times is too confusing, too slow, too costly, and subject to human error, such that some parties simply throw in the towel and settle for something far less than what they are entitled to.

Believe it or not, family law practitioners and judges are aware of these problems and are trying to make administrative changes that will simplify the process and speed up the administration of justice. However, some of the changes needed are only going to be solved with legislative action. It is important that we all engage our local legislators and express our priorities and concerns.

It is better not to take steps forcing a spouse out of the family home without conferring with a Maryland family law attorney.