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I want a divorce but my husband refuses to leave our Rockingham Cnty, Va. residence. What legal options do I have to make him leave?

1 Answers. Asked on May 17th, 2012 on Divorce - Virginia
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He is unemployed and has no forseeable work. He has nowhere to stay. He refuses to leave the home so that the 6 month seperation period can begin. I don''t know how I can make him leave or if I even can since he has nowhere to go and cannot support himself. Do I have any legal options?
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Answered on May 18th, 2012 at 1:30 PM

You cannot force your spouse out of the marital home, except in rare circumstances.  I have had some clients who even owned the home prior to the marriage, but in order to complete their separation, they themselves moved out of the residence and stayed somewhere else until the house was awarded to them in the divorce.  You may have to consider doing that.  It is possible to ask for exclusive use and possession of the marital home in a divorce, but in order to file for divorce you have to have grounds for divorce, which is usually a six-month or one-year separation period, unless you have fault grounds, such as adultery, cruelty, or desertion.  The other way that spouses can be removed from the marital home is pursuant to a protective order in cases of domestic violence.  I have had clients who tried to claim they were separated while still living in the same house, but that is very difficult to prove and you would need a very good witness to verify the living situation.  I generally recommend against trying that.

This answer is given in accordance with the laws of Virginia and may not be applicable in any other state.  It should not be construed as legal advice, as that would require a more thorough analysis of all of the facts involved in a specific case.  If you need further information or assistance, please feel free to contact my office for a consultation.

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Ending a marriage is more than just an emotional process--it's also a legal process. The court must approve your "dissolution of marriage" petition, and will also rule on issues related to the division of property, alimony (also known as spousal support or maintenance), child custody and child support. A divorce or family law attorney can help guide you through the divorce process, while also negotiating with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and his or her divorce lawyer. It's important to note that ethics laws prohibit the same law firm or attorney from representing both spouses in a divorce. Even if your divorce is an amicable one, it's critical to have your own legal representation to ensure that you're treated fairly at all stages of the divorce proceeding.
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