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In today’s economic climate, especially in Orlando and Central Florida, it is not unusual to find parties going through a divorce still living in the same house. More often than not, this creates more tension for the parties. Most of the time, one spouse will want the other to move out of the house. So, if they don’t want to move out of the house, can you make them?
In Florida, we call this “exclusive use and possession of the marital home”. Generally, in order to get exclusive use and possession of the home, there must be children. If there are no children, then a court can award exclusive use and possession of the home if there has been domestic violence and a domestic violence injunction (protective order/ restraining order) has been issued.
If there are children, exclusive use and possession of the home can only be granted if it is in the children’s best interest to grant one parent exclusive use and possession of the home AND it would be detrimental to the children if the husband and wife continue to live in the home. This means, you might be able to get exclusive use and possession of the marital home if:
1) There is extreme fighting, quarreling and arguing between the parents in front of the children.
2) There has been an act of domestic violence against the children or other parent
3) The welfare of the children would be adversely affected (psychologically or physically) by the parties continuing to live together.
So, it is not that easy to force your husband or wife out of the house, simply because you can’t get along. However, if things are bad, especially for the kids, the judge can force them to move out, even if they can’t afford to.