If I let my estranged wife come stay with me for the last 6 months and I am the only one on the lease, how do I evict?

She receives mail here.

Asked on December 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If there is no formal separation agreement that gives you the exclusive right of possession, then absent a final divorce decree or other court order, your home will be deemed to be the "marital residence". Accordingly, she has equal rights to the renta unit; this is true regardless of whose name is on the lease.

If you have a legal separation agreement that gives you sole possession of the premises, then it will not be deemed to be the marital residence. Therefore, she will either legally be a "tenant" (an occupant who pays rent) or "licensee" (someone invited to stay on the premises for a temporary period of time).

If your wife was to have paid rent but did not, then you will typically need to give her a 30 day notice to vacate; if she was merely a guest at your home a 3 day notice will probably be sufficient. Either way, you will need to go to court if she does not leave by the date specified in the notice. If you ex is a tenant you will need to file an "unlawful detainer"; if she is a licensee, you will need to file for an "ejectment". At such point as a court issues you a "writ of possession", you can have a sheriff remove her if she fails to vacate voluntarily.

Finally, under no circumstances try to remove her yourself through self-help measures such a changing the locks, removing her belongings, etc. Just leave the matter to the courts.

At this point, you should consult with an attorney in your area who handles such cases.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.