Divorce is always a difficult transition. It can be made much more frustrating when one spouse is doing all he/she can to thwart the process and make it more difficult on the other spouse. Such is the case of a recently divorced couple in Texas. Divorce standoff at million-dollar home ends, by Kevin Reece, KHOU-TV, Houston, usatoday.com, October 9, 2015.
In that unusual case, the wife filed for divorce and kicked the husband out of their million-dollar house. The husband, however, refused to leave and camped out in his front yard, trying to convince his wife to change her mind about the divorce. Police were called numerous times, but could not remove him from the property per the wife’s request because the property was deeded in both their names. Finally, after the husband had been living in the front yard for five months, the Judge finalized the divorce and declared the wife sole owner of the home. Police then had the legal authority to force the husband to leave the property, which he did willingly.
The procedural details of this case are not mentioned in the article, but this situation likely could have been avoided, or at least significantly shortened, if the wife had asked for a temporary hearing on the issue of the marital residence. A temporary hearing can be requested when there are issues that need some sort of resolution while the divorce is pending. A temporary hearing results in a temporary solution – all issues will be re-heard at a final hearing. Use of the marital residence is a great issue for a temporary hearing especially when, as in this case, both parties are on the deed and neither wants to leave. If either party had requested a temporary hearing on this issue, the Judge would have heard evidence from both parties on why they should have use of the marital residence until the divorce is finalized. It is possible that the wife would have been granted sole use of the marital residence. It is also possible that the parties would have been ordered to share the residence – it was a million dollar house so, presumably, they could have stayed away from each other. Either way, it would have put an end to the lawn camping much sooner.