The easy answer to the question about whether you can kick your spouse out of the house is, “No.” You cannot arbitrarily kick your spouse out of the house. You need a court order to evict a spouse who, in Texas, a community property state, generally has as much legal right to stay in the home as you do.
You Must Legally Evict Your Spouse
Some spouses have changed the locks on the home, thinking they have the right to do so and to keep the other spouse out. If the locked-out spouse calls the police, the police will tell you that you are the one in the wrong, and you must allow your spouse to enter the home unless you have a court order that grants you exclusive rights to possession of the home.
A spouse shares ownership of the home with you no matter whose name is on the title or on the lease, or which spouse makes the payments. The law requires you to use the legal process to evict your spouse. You can do this in one of three ways:
1) Temporary orders. At the beginning of the divorce proceeding, ask the court to give you exclusive use and possession of the home until the divorce process is ended and final orders may be issued. When asking for a temporary order for exclusive use, consider asking for other temporary orders at the same time.
2) An order of protection giving you exclusive use and possession. If domestic violence is involved, or if you have reason to believe you are in danger if your spouse is not evicted from the home, you need to immediately contact an attorney who will help you get an order of protection (restraining order) that will keep your spouse away from you and give you exclusive use and possession of the home.
3) Settlement. Settling with your spouse, generally through an agreement put together by the two divorce attorneys may allow you exclusive use and possession of the home.
There are situations where the home is large enough for both spouses to remain in the home while the divorce process is completed. This solution obviously is not one that works for everyone.
For answers to your family law questions, including how to legally get your spouse out of the family home, contact attorney Daniel Abasolo at Springer & Lyle. You may also call him at 940-387-0404 to schedule a consultation.