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In a divorce, can your spouse kick you out and cut you off?

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In your heart, you know that your marriage is over, so why do you continue to stay? For some people, it comes down to simply economics. When your spouse makes a lot more money than you (or you have no income at all) and holds the household purse strings, filing for divorce can be scary.

You may be afraid that, as soon as you file, your spouse may kick you out of the family home and/or cut off your access to the funds you need to pay your bills.

Temporary orders can preserve the status quo

You’re not the first person to ever be in this position, but nobody should be stuck in an unhappy marriage because they lack resources. That’s how temporary orders can help. Temporary orders address many of the issues that ultimately have to be decided in the divorce, such as who (if anybody) ultimately gets possession of the marital home. However, unlike an actual divorce, temporary orders can be put into place quickly. The court generally aims to preserve the “status quo,” or make sure that nobody is suddenly thrust into dire financial straits or put at an unfair disadvantage by the other.

Some of the things you can ask the court to address include:

  • Who may remain in the home
  • Who may have access to which vehicles
  • How the household bills are to be divided
  • The continuation of any group health insurance
  • How uninsured medical expenses will be covered
  • Directions regarding the sale or use of marital assets
  • A child custody and visitation schedule
  • Any child support that may need to be paid
  • Any interim spousal support that must be paid
  • The payment of your attorney fees

If you’re concerned about your spouse’s reaction to the divorce request and think they may try to control you or take revenge through financial means, you may want to get some legal guidance. Discuss your concerns and ask about the options for temporary orders once your divorce petition is filed.

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