How can you legally ask your former fiancee to move out?

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How can you legally ask your former fiancee to move out?

She and her boyfriend have lived in a house (owned by our family) for 6 years. They were engaged for 5 of those years. She has told him that the relationship is over and asked him to move out. He has told her for 6 months now that he is looking for a place but hasn’t moved out. Also he has, in the past, worn a wedding band style ring on his left ring finger. She has indicated to him that they are “roommates” until he finds a place to live but he still becomes upset with her if she goes out and doesn’t tell him where she is. Could they be considered to be common law married?

Asked on June 20, 2011 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all there are certain requirements that must be met in order to be considered to be common law married. State law recognizes a common law marriage if the parties had the capacity to form an agreement, if they mutually agreed ( i.e. both parties consented) to enter a permanent marital relationship, if they displayed a marital relationship to the public, and if the public recognized the couple’s marital relationship. Additionally other evidence can also be used to support that s marriage dis in fact exist. For example - joint tax returns, joint bank accounts or shared household expenses. Therefore, wearing a wedding band style ring by itself is not enough. Since you didn't give more specifics, such as whether they shared joint bank accounts, tax returns, etc. I will assume that there weren't any. Consequently, your daughter is more than likely not common law married. To confirm, she can speak to a divorce attorney in her area about this.

As for getting her ex out, he will need to be formally evicted (assuming he is not on the lease, if any). If he paid rent or paid for utilties, etc. he will be considered to be a tenant; if he was just a guest who was invited to stay on the premises he is a "licensee". Again, either way, an unlawful detainer" (i.e. eviciton) is the appropriate remedy to have him removed. If you as the owner established a landlord-tenant relationship or licensee relationship, then you are the appropriate party to file for the unlawful detainer. If your daughter invited him to stay or invited him in as her tenant then, as the lawful occupant of the premises, she is the one to file suit. In either event he will need to be served proper notice to vacate. Right now you/she should consult with a real estate attorney who specializes in landlord tenant matters or, if eligible, speak to Legal Aid for help. One thing is for sure, do not use any self -help measure to remove him. If either of you do, you could open yourselves up to both civil and criminal penalties.


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