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What Does "Exclusive Possession of the Former Marital Home" Mean?

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In Massachusetts, when people separate or divorce, one spouse is typically awarded "exclusive use and possession" of the marital home. This is usually implemented at a temporary hearing soon after the parties separate, but it is subject to change at the final hearing. In either case, an Order is issued specifying who has possession of the residence.

If your spouse is granted exclusive possession of the former marital home, it means that you can no longer come and go from the residence as you did prior to the separation even if all of your clothing is there; even if your other personal property is there; even if you are still paying all the bills to maintain the residence; and even if it is titled partially or solely in your name. Likewise, the flipside is true if you are granted exclusive use and possession of the home.

Should your spouse violate that provision, your options include: (1) pursing a contempt action in Family Court; (2) contacting your local law enforcement agency to pursue criminal charges of trespassing and/or burglary; and (3) both of the above. 

Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a free one hour no obligation consultation.

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Law Offices of Renee Lazar
4308 Thompson Farm
Bedford, MA 01730
Phone: 978-844-4095
Fax: 781-687-5807
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