Many spouses going through a
divorce may find themselves in the difficult position of having to live with their
soon to be former spouse. Unfortunately, this arrangement does not work
well for either spouse due to the stressors of the divorce process.
So what happens when one party decides that they can no longer handle the
living situation and wants to exclude the other from the community property
home that was purchased during the marriage?
In some cases, a spouse may try to start an eviction proceeding in the
Landlord/tenant Court in the mistaken belief that they can evict the other
spouse because he/she is not paying their share of the expenses for the house.
If this happens, you need to notify the Landlord/tenant Court as soon as
possible of the existence of the Divorce case. Once the divorce case is
opened, ONLY the family court has the ability to decide issues involving
the family residence.
You should be ready at the earliest possible time to tell the Landlord/tenant
Court the case number of your divorce case and bring a copy of the Petition
(Form FL-100) and the Response to the Petition if that has been filed
as well (Form FL-120 )
As stated above, only the family court, not the Landlord/tenant Court has
the ability to make orders regarding who controls the family residence,
who pays the household expenses, and what items from the house can be removed.
If there are third parties living in the family residence, a Landlord/tenant
case maybe used to evict them. However, the family court also has the
ability to deal with that issue.
In general, only if there is domestic violence in the home, will the court
exclude one of the parties. Otherwise, both parties will remain in the
home pending the divorce trial. The Court can also make orders on which
party is responsible for paying the bills by filing a Request for Order
(Form FL-300). It should be noted that because a party is excluded from
the residence, that does not mean that the house is yours. The Court is
simply giving you possession and control, not ownership of the home.
If the other party had interest in the house, being excluded does not affect
that person community property rights.
If you would like help in protecting your community property rights or
other family law matters, please contact an attorney from Castellanos
& Associates, APLC at (323) 655-2105. We offer a
FREE initial consultation. Your consultation is always confidential and we will help protect you
and your rights.