how long can my children and I stay in the marital home

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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how long can my children and I stay in the marital home

I haven’t worked in 20 years, raising the children, husband handling the
finances. He left us and is complaining he can’t pay for us and for him to live.
I am on the deed. My twins, who are the youngest of six, are going into their
second year of college and I don’t want to uproot them. They live at home while
going to college. He wants to sell the house now to get money. Obviously, at this
point I’d only be able to get a minimum wage job which won’t cover his 100,000
yearly salary. I at least want to get the girls through college. This was a total
blow to us all, didn’t see it coming.

Asked on July 2, 2018 under Family Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your husband cannot sell without your consent, both because you are on the deed (one owner needs the other owner's and are his spouse (one spouse may not remove the other spouse from the marital home) or without a court order, such as one resolving a divorce. If and when one of you files for divorce, the courts will decide who gets the house, who can live there and for how long, who gets other assets, who pays support and how much, etc. Until a divorce is filed and resolved, he cannot compel the sale of the home. However, he could stop paying the mortgage and/or taxes and let it go into foreclosure, unless you filed a divorce and in the course of that divorce, sought a court order requiring him to keep paying and maintain the status quo until the final resolution. If he files against you, or you feel the need to file against him, retain a lawyer to help you--don't try to protect your rights on your own.

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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