When someone experiencing abuse lives with their violent partner who owns the house, the situation can become complex. Some may wonder if their abusive partner can kick them out of the house if they try to stand up to the violence. The short answer is no.
Although we get this question from married people as well, most married people have figured out that even if the home or rental is in the other spouse’s name, they have a right to be in the home because they’re married. However, it is an extremely common question when two people live together without being married.
How Does this Situation Occur?
Here’s the most common scenario: The girlfriend moved into her boyfriend’s home when everything was going well. However, the relationship has started to fall apart, and the boyfriend says he wants the girlfriend out.
The common questions are:
- Can my boyfriend get a no trespass order against me?
- Can my boyfriend just kick me out of the house and change the locks?
- Can my boyfriend kick me out of his house without notice?
The answer to each of those questions is no. If you have lived at the home for a period of time, then you are considered a tenant and an occupant of the residence. This means you have a legal right to be in the residence and your partner cannot simply go get a no-trespass order to keep you off the property. Your boyfriend also cannot simply change the locks and kick you out of the house without notice if you have stayed past your welcome. Now if you were to change the question a bit and ask something like: Can my boyfriend evict me? That's a different story. There is a certain process that must be followed to force you to move out, just as though your boyfriend were a landlord – that would be an eviction.
Now, a lot of people decide to move on without that process because, really – who wants to stay living in a place that is not happy and where you are not wanted?
However, this gets much more complicated when that same person who wants you out is an abuser and you are experiencing domestic violence.
Let’s take the same scenario as above, but now the boyfriend has figured out how to manipulate the girlfriend into doing or not doing things based on his claims that, if she goes against him, he will kick her out. Let’s say this boyfriend punches his girlfriend in the face and then threatens to kick her out if she calls the police. Unfortunately, this type of situation (even when sexes are reversed or there is two of the same sex in a relationship) is fairly common. The abused is used to the abuser getting their way. The abuser is usually fairly slick at explaining things or gaslighting the abused to make then think he or she is going crazy.
Steps to Take if Your Abusive Partner is Kicking You Out
If you’ve lived with someone who is abusive for a period of time, then you are protected by the law, especially if you are suffering from domestic violence.
If you are afraid for your safety, then you can utilize the protections of a restraining order. This protective order can not only order your abuser to stay away from you and not contact you (and your children if you have any), but it can also make it so that you are able to remain in your home while you seek an alternative living situation. Your abuser would then have to figure something else out.
Because of this, we have seen people abuse the legal system to try to get an upper-hand or to remain in a home longer or to get temporary custody of children. That is a motive we never condone and we often defend the true victim of those types of abuse of the system. That is not to minimize the people who truly need the help and the protection though.
When you are abused, you are often made to feel alone. It is important to remember that you are not alone, and you can get help and protection. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If it is after regular business hours, the police can help you get an emergency restraining order. If you are not in immediate danger, you can go to the courthouse directly and seek a restraining order or, if you need help and support, you can call us and we can help you.
Abuse is not okay. Manipulation is not okay. Being controlled and lied to is not okay.
We understand how difficult it is to get out of a situation like this, but we believe in you. If your abusive partner is threatening to kick you out of your house, call us today.