Once a couple decides to divorce or separate, it can be tough - and even impossible - to continue living together.
At this point, they may be asking themselves whether it’s legally permissible to kick a spouse that they can’t get along with out of the marital home, change the locks, or deny them access to the property. The short answer to this is no.
In Georgia, forcing a spouse to move out of the marital home can lead to repercussions that may adversely later affect divorce, child custody, alimony, and property division proceedings. It’s best to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney before making unilateral decisions that can be detrimental to a case later on.
In Georgia, the marital home is considered marital property. This is true even if the title of the property is solely in one of the spouse’s name, or even if it’s only rented or leased. When an asset is considered marital property, both parties should be able to freely access it when needed.
Because of this, it’s inadvisable to lock one spouse out of the property or force them to leave. In fact, Georgia courts tend to look negatively upon those who force their spouse to leave the marital home without a court order.
For any spouse who’s looking to gain exclusive ownership or access to the marital home, they need to wait until the court addresses the issue. They can request a hearing once the divorce is filed to determine who will reside at the marital home while the case is still pending.
As mentioned above, in general, Georgia courts will not look favorably upon those who evict their spouse out of the marital home, deny them access to the property, or forcibly remove their belongings from the house.
However, there are circumstances where the eviction of a spouse may be pursued successfully in court. These include:
Determining which actions you can legally take prior to or after filing a divorce can be complicated. It’s best to have an experienced and qualified family attorney by your side who can provide proper guidance.
Our team at Sharon Jackson is ready to help you understand your rights, aggressively fight for your interests, and create a strategy to help protect you and your children while the case is ongoing. Contact us now at (678) 909-4100 to schedule a consultation.
Attorney Sharon Jackson LLC
175 Langley Drive, Suite A1
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Phone: (678) 909-4100
Fax: (678) 281-0482