Many clients come to me unclear as to their rights to their marital home. If your home is owned and was purchased during your marriage, it is a marital home. Martial property is defined as “the property, however titled, acquired by 1 or both parties during the marriage.” Maryland Code, Family Law § 8-201(3). Therefore, absent a protective order, discussed in our August 2009 blog, no one has the authority to make their spouse leave the home. If your home is rented and both names are on the lease then no one has superior rights over the other and therefore, no one has the authority to make their spouse leave the rented home.
If the parties come to an agreement that one spouse will leave, that is a different story. However, many individuals are “kicked out” of their marital home by their spouse because they are not aware of their rights. If you feel it is better that you leave the marital home, then you should do so, however, you are not barred from re-entering your home and may do so at any time. If your spouse changes the locks to your home then I would advise you contact the police to assist in re-entry.
For more information regarding marital property please contact an experienced Maryland divorce attorney.