You’ve lived in the same home as your spouse since your wedding night–and now you’re getting divorced. Most spouses would find it very, very awkward to remain living in the marital home together during divorce proceedings. 

It gets even more awkward if you have children. Indeed, one of your disputes might center on “who gets the house.” So, what do you do if your spouse refuses to move out?

Under Georgia family law, both spouses have equal rights to access the marital home until a judge has entered an order for exclusive possession. Continue reading to learn more about what could happen in this scenario.

Unilateral Eviction

Don’t simply lock your spouse out of your home unless you are sure you have the legal right to (see below). Illegally evicting your spouse can disadvantage you in every aspect of your divorce proceedings, including child custody, child support, and spousal support

You can, however, evict your spouse under the following circumstances:

  • The house is your personal property. Your relative might have gifted or willed it to you, for example, or it might have been yours before the marriage.
  • There are credible allegations of domestic abuse

Make sure to tie up legal loose ends. Obtain title to your home in your name, for example, and get a restraining order before evicting your spouse for domestic abuse.

Eviction by Mutual Agreement

Mutual agreement is the ideal solution. If you can convince your spouse to move out or rely on a third-party mediator to do the persuading for you, you can save yourself a lot of trouble. Of course, some spouses will not agree to move out under any circumstances.

The Court Can Issue a Temporary Eviction Order

The court might issue a temporary order forcing your spouse to move out. Although this order applies until the divorce is final, it’s likely that the final order will mirror the temporary order. 

If your spouse refuses to comply with a court order, the court can charge them with contempt of court. Contempt of court can be prosecuted as a criminal offense, and a judge can sentence your spouse to time in jail. 

Mortgage Payments

If the court orders your spouse out of the home, it will also decide who pays the mortgage. Typically, it will order you to pay the mortgage yourself, since you are the one living in the home. 

If your spouse earns more than you do, however, the court might have you and your spouse share the mortgage.

Utilities and More

The court will order the spouses to share utilities, insurance, property taxes, and other household expenses according to each spouse’s ability to pay.  

Will Your Spouse Lose My Property Rights in the Home if They Move Out?

No, they won’t. Simply moving out of the house does not signify that they are abandoning any property rights in the home. 

What Will Be the Long-Term Fate of My Home?

It’s almost always best for you and your spouse to reach an agreement on the fate of your home. The alternative, of course, is for the court to decide, which might not be in your interests. In a trial, for example, the court might order the sale of your home and the division of assets.

Alternatively, the court might award the home to one of you. In this case, it will force the other spouse to move out (or remain out). The court might have you pay your spouse for their equity share. This decision turns on many factors, such as your relative income and the number of minor children you have. 

Don’t Try to Handle This Situation Without an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

Trying to get a divorcing spouse out of the family home without breaking the law is tricky. It’s not just about complying with the law, however. You need to handle situations like these delicately, especially if minor children live in the home. Hire an experienced Lawrenceville family lawyer to help you.

Contact the Divorce Lawyers at Crystal Wright Law To Get Legal Assistance Today

To learn more and get the help you deserve, contact our legal team at Crystal Wright Law and schedule your consultation today.

We serve all through Lawrenceville, Georgia, in Gwinnett County and its surrounding areas. Visit our law firm today at

Crystal Wright Law
440 S. Perry Street, Suite 105
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
(404) 594-2143