If your spouse is abusive to you or your children, you may file an Ex Parte Order of Protection requesting that the Court order your spouse to leave the house. Your attorney will advise you whether it is a good idea to file for such an order based on the specific facts of your case. In cases where the facts do not support filing an Order of Protection, your attorney can file a motion requesting the Court to award one spouse exclusive possession of the house during the pendency of the case.

If you are the spouse considering leaving the house, you should know that the choice to leave the family home does not affect to whom the property is ultimately awarded. In fact, most judges prefer that spouses who are not getting along live separately in order to reduce stress and acrimony. Further, choosing to leave voluntarily may protect you against an allegation of abuse.