Do I have to live with my spouse in the same house during divorce proceedings?

Many parties choose to stay under one roof during their divorce proceedings in Illinois.  This was particularly true when the economy was not doing very well, since it can be expensive to run two households on the same income that you used to run one.  Some parties choose to separate and live in different households during a divorce.  It is a matter of personal preference. However, sometimes it is just emotionally or mentally unbearable to remain under the same roof.  In those situations, a party can petition for what is called “exclusive possession” of the marital residence.

Exclusive possession of a marital residence is essentially a temporary eviction during the divorce proceedings.  The exclusive possession just means that one of the parties has the right to occupy the residence, whereas the other party does not.  The Courts can award exclusive possession of a marital home in a situation where one party can prove that the physical or mental well-being of a spouse or their children is at risk with both of the parties residing under the same roof.  This is not an easy burden to prove and is reserved for situations that are typically pretty severe.  Courts do award exclusive possession, however, when this burden is met by one of the parties.  The court may consider a balancing of hardships between the two parties when determining which party should be awarded exclusive possession.  Additionally, courts will try to keep the minor children from being too disrupted by the otherwise very stressful divorce process.

Leave a Reply