What can I do in an abusive not physical home?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do in an abusive not physical home?

My dad is abusive and toxic to us all. He goes on psychotic moods and he gets really mean and refuses to listen and just talks over you if you try to communicate. My family and I are at our breaking point of dealing with it. I’m wondering if we tried to leave him or make him leave this household. If we can get money and sue. My dad’s name is on all the bills, water, electric, phone, etc. My mom and dad share a bank account and he is the primary holder. Is there anything I can do? Do I have to start recording his tangents for evidence?

Asked on August 2, 2017 under Family Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Do you own the home? If so, is your father on the title, too? If he is on the title, you can't do anything--it's his home as much as yours. If you own it and he doesn't, if he has a written lease for a set term (e.g. a one-year lease), you cannot evict him during the term of the lease (that is, until it expires) unless he fails to pay what he's supposed to or otherwise violates the lease.
If he does not have a written lease but he is paying the bills, he is most likely a month-to-month tenant on an oral (unwritten) lease, since his bill payments would likely be seen as his rent. A month-to-month tenant can be given 30 days notice terminating his tenancy: if he doesn't leave then, you can bring an eviction action. (Obviously, you'll need to then put the bills in your name.)
A court could be a stickler for what constitutes "rent" and hold that paying the bills is not rent; in that case, he is a guest in your home, and can again be asked to leave in writing. If he does not, you could bring an "ejectment" action (eviction for non-tenants).  The idea is the same: given him written notice of a month, then bring a legal action--the difference is type of action you bring (eviction vs. ejectment).
Note that in either event, having the bills in his name does not by itself give him.
Hire a landlord-tenant attorney to help you. The lawyer will analyze the situation more closely, be able to select the correct process, and make sure all the rules and notices are complied with. But in any event, if it is your home, not his, you can remove him.

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.

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