Divorce and Matrimonial

Exclusive Occupancy / Orders of Protection / Domestic Violence

During the pendency of a divorce action, it may be appropriate for the Court to exclude one party from the family home by issuance of an Order granting the other exclusive use and occupancy. If this occurs, one party will be required to vacate the residence while the divorce pends and until further Court Order or written Agreement otherwise. Exclusive occupancy is not granted simply because the parties are not getting along, are unhappy or uncomfortable living together while in a divorce. Courts will only grant this relief where needed to protect the safety of persons or property or when the nonmovant spouse has voluntarily established an alternative residence and that spouse’s return to the marital residence would cause domestic strife.

It is an unfortunate and frightening reality that you or your Child may be at the risk of serious harm from an individual that you once considered close and trusted. This may include spouses, romantic partners, ex-romantic partners, family members and other persons that you have an intimate relationship with. New York Courts have the ability to issue Orders of Protection which are Court Orders prohibiting a party from doing certain behaviors in order to protect another party and/or a Child. This generally includes prohibiting contact, both physical and electronic, as well as staying away from the protected party’s home, place of employment, school, child care, etc. The Court can issue other prohibitions via an Order of Protection which can be discussed with the attorney you consult with. You may also find yourself the party allegations are being made against. In either instance, understanding your rights and obligations with regard to an Order of Protection is crucial, especially as violations of Orders of Protection will likely result in an arrest and criminal action against the violator and as an Order of Protection is aimed at granting safety to the applicant.