Dear Carolyn,

The domestic violence protective order (DVPO) filed against me has expired. I have not returned to my home nor have I reached out to my spouse. I was unaware of what was happening until it was too late. But it was only to get possession of our home, which I believe is illegal.

With the COVID-19, what should I do now, to make sure that I do not lose my rights and or have it seem as if I have abandoned my home or my property, that is presently in my spouse’s possession (temporary)?


Carolyn Answers,

You have solutions, but your facts do not state a couple of facts a lawyer needs to know to answer your questions fully. First, are you married? If you are married you have an equitable right to a presumptive 50 percent of marital property. You must file an equitable distribution claim with the court prior to the absolute divorce.

Second, if you are not married and your name is on the deed, then you have rights to your house under the deed. Since the domestic violence action is over, you can proceed with an eviction if you are the sole owner. If you are not the sole owner, you can proceed with a partitioning of the home. You might also be able to buy out the equity of the estranged or have the estranged buy you out.

Finally, I would suggest you reach out to a lawyer and have the lawyer deal with your estranged so you do not get accused of any further conduct, which could make the situation much worse.



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