An abused spouse can seek exclusive use of a marital residence by filing for an Order of Protection. In the Petition for Order of Protection, the abused spouse must set forth all acts of domestic violence committed against them by the other party. The Court will then determine if the allegations contained in the Petition rise to the level of domestic violence. If the Court makes the determination that domestic violence has occurred, it will issue an Order of Protection and will likely prohibit the abuser from returning to the marital residence. The abuser may request a hearing to dispute the allegations contained in the Petition, however, it is unlikely that a Court will dismiss an Order of Protection without sufficient evidence supporting the dismissal.
An Order of Protection remains in effect for one year from the date it is entered by the Court, unless the Court dismisses the Order at the time of the hearing. Make sure that if you are maintaining ownership of the property that you have sufficient means to keep up with the mortgage and other expenses. The house will not pay your bills. A Family Court Judge who is permanently assigned to the Dissolution portion of your case will make the ultimate decision of who will retain the marital residence at Trial.
If you have further questions about Arizona divorce, spousal abuse or domestic violence, AZ family law attorney Tim Durkin can assist you during a confidential consultation. Call 480.779.7972.