Can My Husband/Wife Kick Me Out of the House?

Whether thoughts of a divorce or separation have been simmering for months or the decision comes out of the blue, choosing to proceed with the breakup of a marriage is one of the most challenging decisions in life. Once the words have been spoken and the ball is rolling, it’s as if it gets kicked with every effort to pick it up, making it difficult to control. Like a snowball turning into an avalanche, the decisions and actions surrounding a marital breakup loom, becoming an unstoppable force until it careens into the lives of a family, leaving destruction in its wake. 

The early days of divorce and separation can bring out the worst in partners who once made decisions together amicably. And one of the most difficult decisions is who stays in the house and who goes. When the choice cannot be made, and both spouses refuse to budge, you may wonder, can my husband or wife kick me out of the house during a Myrtle Beach divorce?

Can My Husband Kick Me Out?

Many women are rightfully filled with fear in the early days of a divorce or separation about the future and what their finances and home life will look like without two adults contributing to a home’s expenses. But when a husband kicks his wife out of their home in South Carolina, there are more imminent worries. If you are asking can my husband kick me out of our home, the short answer is no.

You and your husband may currently be at a boiling point, and more than anything, you just want to lay down in your own bed and rest. But this simple act of comfort may seem far away. On the other hand, in between thoughts of reconciliation, you may be considering what it would be like to start over again in a new place without your surroundings being a constant reminder of life together. 

First, this emotionally charged time will pass, and things will improve. It’s perfectly normal to be sad, mad, confused, and scared simultaneously. The most important knowledge to possess now is that there is help, and understanding your options and what can legally occur during a divorce gives you the choice of being more in control of your life and finding a brighter future post-divorce or during separation. 

What to do When Your Husband Throws You out of the House

Knowing your legal rights is vital if a marriage has dissolved to this point. A court order is required to remove a spouse from the home. And there are two reasons a judge will grant that order. South Carolina’s policy on marriage is to foster and protect it, so what must a husband or wife prove to have their spouse removed from the home?

The first reason a spouse may be ordered out of the marital home is because of domestic violence, such as assault or threat of physical harm. South Carolina’s Protection from Domestic Abuse Act will permit temporary control of the home to an abused spouse. These decisions are scheduled within 15 days of filing a formal petition or 24 hours when an emergency exists.

The second reason a spouse can be ordered out of the home by a family court is if a spouse files for a divorce on the grounds of fault. In South Carolina, fault is defined as an act of adultery, physical cruelty, dissertation for one year, habitual drunkenness, or the use of narcotic drugs. One of these acts may be what has led to the end of your marriage, but your husband can only remove you from the home through a court order. 

Find Legal Guidance

Getting sound, compassionate legal guidance is the first step if your husband has thrown you out of the house. The fear of the cost of hiring a Myrtle Beach divorce attorney can lead individuals to make emotionally driven decisions that are more costly than any divorce attorney will ever be. But having someone in the driver’s seat leading you provides legal footing, allows for rational decision-making, and lets you focus on working toward your future instead of taking revenge on your partner. 

We get that nothing feels better than bashing a partner’s faults with a friend who is almost as angry as you are. But these anger sessions often lead to more regrettable mistakes and still don’t get you back in your house or secure a new place to stay. Working with a team looking out for your best interests provides a plan of action even in the most complex divorce in South Carolina.

Weigh Your Options

It is vital for every spouse to know that when considering a divorce, they have options. Some of the options may be optimal, or they may be a short-term solution. But rationally looking at what you can do to make the situation better is always recommended, such as

  • Do I have a friend or family member I can stay with for a short time?
  • Is there a house or apartment that fits my budget?
  • Are there safe room leases I can take advantage of?

None of these suggestions may fit where you envisioned yourself at this point in life. But these are the early days of divorce or separation when nothing seems to follow your life plan. Things will improve, and you deserve a more peaceful life beyond the current crisis.

What Happens If You Go Back Home?

The initial desire to go back home and the victory of being back after being kicked out by a spouse can quickly feel like defeat when the reality sets in that two people who no longer want to be together must cohabitate under the same roof. Take a breath and remember, things will get better. To be granted a divorce in South Carolina, a couple must have lived apart for at least a year, and the stress of living with another person each day who has in some way wronged you or who you have wronged can wear a person out both mentally and physically.

In a near-perfect world, the divorce process would be amicable, with both spouses being able to carry out their lives under the same roof or make plans for a slower transition out of the home with the guarantee of financial stability. However, when a husband kicks his wife out, things are likely to be less than picture-perfect, and if you are both ready to divorce, separate living is part of the process. 

Can I Kick My Wife Out if I Own the House?

First, it’s essential to clarify what owning a home in a marriage means. Many individuals who marry inaccurately declare a home separate property because their name is the only name on the loan or deed. Even when this is the case, removing your wife from the home requires a court order based on one of the grounds of fault.

Any property acquired between the date the marriage began and the date of filing to end the marriage is considered marital property (Article 5). Even if a husband’s name is the only name on the paperwork, the house is still the property of both spouses. Not only does each partner own a share of the home, but proof that a husband kicked his wife out of the home may be considered during the final proceedings.

Can my husband kick me out of the home he owns if he purchased the home before you were married? When considering living arrangements and asking, can I kick my wife out of the house, the answer is still no. Even though you may have owned this property before marriage, there is the complication of commingled assets to consider when declaring the property separate instead of marital property. 

Can My Wife Kick Me Out of the House?

Your wife may have purchased the house you now live in before marrying, or she may have more invested in the home because of raising children in the space and providing the domestic support that has kept your home life afloat for many years. Regardless of any situation, the Court must order the removal of someone from a home. As a husband, you may have taken on the duties of your home while your wife pursued her career and provided for you financially, but a wife cannot kick a husband out of the house even when she is financially responsible for it. 

Determining Who Stays in an Horry County Home and Who Goes

As previously mentioned, South Carolina couples must live separately and apart for one year before a divorce is granted. Living separate and apart requires the couple to demonstrate they no longer live together as husband and wife. So how do you move forward when both spouses want to stay in the home, but neither of you is willing to budge?

Filing the Appropriate Court Orders is Essential 

When spouses cannot agree, and a lack of trust is a factor, the best option is to file an Order of Separate Maintenance and Support (Sec. 20-3-130), a Notice, and a Motion for Temporary Relief. These orders provide an avenue for protecting your financial interests, including your home. What determinations can these filings make to create a more stable living environment?

  • Child custody, visitation, and support
  • Who stays in the marital home
  • Spousal support
  • Who is responsible for the mortgage and other home costs
  • Closing joint accounts
  • The transferring of titles

These orders establish the ground rules until a divorce is final or you decide to work things out and the separation period ends, preventing either partner from removing the other from the home. Once you and your spouse can reach an agreement, with the guidance of a Myrtle Beach divorce attorney, a Judge will review the agreement to ensure it follows South Carolina Law, that it is fair to both spouses and that it serves the best interest of any minor children affected by the order. While these orders are not required to live apart, they can be a way of finding a workable solution until a divorce is final or until the separation period is over.

Do I Lose My Interest in the House if I Leave?

When a divorce is impending or a time of separation is necessary to decide about your future as a married couple, the most reasonable and amicable choice may be to leave the home until a final ruling is made. Remember that possession does not equal ownership, so for the sake of moving on in peace until a divorce is final or you both can work through the issues, it can be stated and agreed to in the orders filed with the Court that you will reside in another location. At the same time, your spouse stays in the home until the final ruling. 

Having children who reside in the home can be a factor in determining which parent stays in the house. A parent who is the primary caregiver will likely remain with the children if the home environment is best. These concerns are valid and should be discussed with a Myrtle Beach legal separation attorney.

Until a separation order is implemented, the contents of a home also belong to both spouses. In situations where a partner’s behavior is a concern, and there is the potential of lashing out, address the division of assets in your home in the agreement. Even though you may be awarded other assets in a divorce ruling, sentimental assets can never be replaced if destroyed or sold.

Will I Still Be Responsible for the Mortgage?

Having your name on the mortgage either requires both spouses to determine between them how the loan will be paid or a Judge to rule in the temporary orders who will be responsible. It is possible to work with a spouse and agree on who pays the mortgage, but your financial security and credit rating are in the hands of your spouse. A separation agreement will provide a level of peace with legal documentation stating who is responsible.

If you are the primary income earner in a household, a Judge may rule that you are at least partially responsible for paying the mortgage even when you don’t live in the house. While this may seem unfair, this is not the final ruling. Knowing this may make you want to throw your spouse out of the house, but any documented action against a spouse is never beneficial to a final divorce decree and only makes it more challenging to find solutions.

Blocking Access to Finances

Another of the most anxiety-producing acts one partner can take against the other besides kicking them out of the house is to block access to finances. When a decision to separate is made, spouses who have separate accounts lose access to the financial contributions of the other spouse. Spouses may typically divide the bills, but when there is contention, a spouse may withhold money for bills, the mortgage, or any additional needs. 

A spouse may also change their direct deposit to another account when a separation occurs or the divorce process has begun. In households where both partners work, this may only create mild concern. However, for the spouse who has chosen to forego their career to provide domestic support, the reality of being left without financial means can be frightening.

This unimaginable scenario is another reason to file orders with the Court to establish a separation agreement. Working with a Myrtle Beach legal separation attorney prepares you for the worst-case scenario and protects your financial assets. Sadly, the person we trusted the most can become someone we don’t recognize when a separation or divorce is on the horizon.

Plan Ahead if There’s Time

Having cash on hand to provide for your needs is one way to prepare for divorce until a separation agreement can be established, adding the security you need when the potential exists for bank funds to be blocked or removed. And instead of using a credit card, cash will ensure you can buy what you need, like groceries, until the details are ironed out. Saving money to avoid a financial blockade may take time, but it’s worth it and can keep you afloat.

In an agreement, spousal support can also be addressed if needed. Any irresponsible acts such as depleting accounts, making large purchases with marital funds, or incurring unexpected sums of debt should be discussed immediately with an attorney who will present this information to the courts for consideration in the final divorce decree.

Emotions are often the most challenging thing to control when a marriage is unsteady. But taking a step back, working with a team that is fighting for your best interests, and planning can be pivotal actions in an uncertain time. When it’s time to consider dividing marital property and debt in South Carolina, you don’t have to make these critical decisions alone or under duress.

Guidance in Horry County Separation Agreements and Divorce 

The team at Indigo Family Law wants you to know that the overwhelming days you’re currently experiencing will get better with time. Protecting your rights and assets during a divorce or separation while working with a supportive team is possible. Schedule an appointment with Indigo Family Law online or by calling 843-273-6758.