How to get an order for exclusive use of the marital home

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

I have been advised to file for exclusive possession of the marital home.

How can I obtain an order for exclusive use of my house?


An order for exclusive use of the marital home can be obtained in two ways. However, for either method of obtaining the order, you must have good reason for making the request.

Usually, this involves domestic violence, evidence of abusive conduct, a risk of physical harm, or conduct detrimental psychologically or emotionally to the children. Just being uncomfortable with the living arrangement probably will not justify depriving the other party of a residence.

The first way to obtain this order is ex parte. An ex parte order is an order entered without notice to the other party, and without a hearing. Most ex parte orders are entered when the Complaint for Divorce is filed.

You must allege facts in your complaint sufficient to show the judge that there is a risk to your or your children and there is not time to notify the other party of entry of the order. The other party can still object to the order and having a hearing on the matter, but the order becomes effective upon its entry with the court.

The most common way of obtaining an order for exclusive use of the marital home is to file a motion with the judge requesting this relief.

The motion must allege reasons strong enough for the judge to believe that depriving the other party of their property is the only way to protect you or your children. The other party must be notified of this motion and has an opportunity to object to it and stop the order from being entered.

Contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell represents men in divorce nationwide.


Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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