how long can a spouse stay in the home after they are served with divorce papers.

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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how long can a spouse stay in the home after they are served with divorce papers.

I have a friend who has initiated the divorce process by filing. She wants to know how long her husband can stay in the home once he is served with divorce papers. BTW the home is owned by her father. So neither the wife nor the husband owns the property. This is in the state of Michigan.

Asked on August 30, 2019 under Family Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Serving the other spouse with divorce papers does NOT require them to leave the home: even during the divorce, both spouses may live in the home until and unless specidically ordered otherwise by the divorce court. Neither spouse may remove the other from the marital home without a divorce settlement, decree, or some other order in or resolution to the divorce case requiring one to go.
2) However, if the spouses do not own the home but are living in property owned by a 3rd party--such as the wife's father--that 3rd party may be able to remove one of the spouses the same he could remove any "guest" (any non-owner, non-rent-paying tenant, whether family or friend) from the house. To do so, (the home's owner; i.e. the father) would have to provide the person with written notice that he must leave and a reasonable time (generally a month) to vacate, then--if the person does not leave--file a kind of legal action called an action "for ejectment" (think of it as eviction for non-tenants). If the father wants to consider this option, he should consult with an attorney.

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 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.

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