The marital home is frequently the largest asset between the parties to be divided in a divorce. When and how the marital home was acquired will be a major factor in determining who gets the marital home temporarily and permanently.
What is Exclusive Use and Possession?
Exclusive use and possession refers to one party receiving permission to use the home for their own purposes. Conditions are frequently provided for, as well. A frequent condition to receiving exclusive use and possession of a home is typically connected with paying the mortgage or other household bills. This sometimes occurs initially after holding a temporary needs hearing or a domestic violence injunction hearing. The most expedient, but not necessarily recommended way that a spouse can obtain exclusive use and possession of a home is through a domestic violence case. Using a domestic violence case to obtain exclusive use and possession should only be pursued when it involves a Petitioner that has been the victim of domestic violence. In other words, a petition for injunction should only be filed when actually necessary to stop or prevent violence. Where domestic violence is not an issue, a temporary needs hearing would be the best vehicle to obtain a temporary order to decide who stays in the home temporarily. The author has seen a number of occasions where both parties shared the home while they waited for a final hearing because neither party had a good option to leave. This is not recommended, as it is natural for hostility to build between two partis going through a divorce.