“I Own My House, But My Partner Was Living There When We Broke Up: Can I Make Them Leave?”

When two people live together but are unmarried, and then a separation occurs, there can be a problem of who remains in the residence. If the residence is a rental or lease, the issue is usually less acute and the person who is on the lease usually remains. Sometimes this can become a problem if the lease goes into default, but that is a matter of contract and usually ends in a small claims case for reimbursement.

However, the situation is more complicated if one party owns the home, and the other refuses to leave. What are the options? The family law court does not really have jurisdiction over the property, because it is not community property, except in certain emergency circumstances.

If the other party has been violent or threatening the court can issue a domestic violence restraining order that includes a kick-out order. However, this can only be used in situations in which one party has engaged in conduct that justifies a restraining order. In addition, if you have kids with the other party, the court will generally award the residence, at least on a temporary basis, to the party who has custody with the children.

If you have title to your property, you are not married, and there is no basis for a restraining order, then you very well may have to file an eviction to make the other party move. This involves filing notices to vacate and then a court case, and can be somewhat time consuming and expensive. Negotiating a move-out date can be useful in those cases, but if the other party refuses, in the end, an eviction is the appropriate action.

DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.
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