January 4, 2014

When the Ex Refuses to Move Out

How to get your ex to move on and move out

After the divorce, and during, your ex may not be the best roommate. In today’s economic climate, many couples are forced to maintain a shared residence while separated. But what happens when the ex overstays his or her welcome and shows no signs of leaving? When your ex refuses to move out, try to discuss the reasons and seek a family lawyer to start the process.

Talk to your ex first

Before you run to an attorney or research eviction processes, consider having a serious, face to face conversation with your ex. You may find the root of the problem is something that can be negotiated or agreed upon. Perhaps your ex is worried about losing his or her interest in the property before it is sold? Or it could be a matter of just wanting to hold on to the past and maintain consistency for the children.

Hear out your ex when it comes to the emotional aspect or concern for children. Above all else, kids do not want to see or suspect their parents are fighting constantly. Witnessing constant hostility and being caught in the crosshairs is not a cost that any child should bear the burden of paying. Having an open conversation about the health of your children and accommodating minor financial concerns could do the trick.

Gaining exclusive possession

For the ex who refuses to move out due to his or her interest in the property, it becomes a matter of equitable distribution in the ongoing divorce action. When matters of equitable distribution are at the heart of the problem, an experienced divorce lawyer should be involved. Determining the property’s value, agreeing to list and at what price can all be negotiated. That is only helpful in cases where both parties are ok with moving out.

If you are seeking to retain residency at the marital property and your ex refuses to move out, a divorce lawyer will help you pursue other remedies. For example, a party may file for exclusive possession of the marital residence. Even if exclusive possession is awarded during the divorce proceedings, it may not preclude a court from awarding the property to the other party during equitable distribution.

23 Pa. C.S. § 3502(c) indicates that the court has authority to award exclusive possession to one of both of the parties while the divorce is pending. The first case to award exclusive possession was Laczkowski v. Laczkowski, decided in 1985. This case awarded the marital residence to the spouse with physical custody of the minor children.

If there is abuse involved, a protection from abuse (PFA) may be an option in cases where an ex refuses to move out. All of this should be discussed at length with your divorce lawyer. If you are going through a divorce or considering, contact the trusted and experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C., at (215) 942-2100. Feel free to submit an online inquiry form and a member of our team will contact you shortly to schedule a consultation.