We have been legally married in Maryland since November 2013. In May 2013 we purchased a home together, though only her name is on the mortgage and deed. I lost my job a few months ago and have had trouble finding steady employment. She wants to evict me from the home, and says she can because she has sole ownership. Although she is verbally and emotionally abusive to me, I have never responded in kind - verbally or physically. I do not drink or do drugs. I agree with her that our marriage is at an end, but I just need a little time to secure a steady job and save enough money to pay 1st month's rent/security elsewhere. Can she call the police and have them physically remove me from the property, thus forcing me to become homeless?
Based on what you've stated, the house was purchased prior to your marriage in November 2013 and therefore it is not marital property as it was acquired by her before the marriage in May 2013. If that was a typo and you purchased the house in May, 2014, then the property could be considered "marital property" which you could have rights in regardless of how it is titled.
Typically, the police will not remove you from the premises as it is not the police officer's duty to determine who has rights of possession. If wife tries to lock you out or keep you from the premises, then this would be akin to a self-help eviction, which is illegal in Maryland. Your wife, can undertake to remove you from the premises via court action (i.e. an unlawful detainer action) -- if the house is not marital property.
DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.
I agree with Brandy's response. However, I would add, that even if the house was purchased prior the marriage, you still likely have an interest in the house (if mortgage payments have been made during the marriage). In addition, either way, unless you have minor children and/or their is domestic violence issues that warrant a protective order, she will not be able to kick you out of the house until there is a divorce. She could try and evict you through the landlord/tenant court, however, majority of district court judges choice not to entertain these type of cases. If she went the landlord/tenant route she would have to give you 30 days written notice to leave and if you didn't leave then file an action in district court, before the police would be able to kick you out.
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Although she may have purchased the home prior to the marriage. The home may have converted to marital property especially if you lived there for some time and contributed significantly to its maintenance and upkeep. Further since you have been residing in the home she cannot evict you without some kind of court action. The Police will likely not force you to leave unless there are unsafe conditions for either you or her. This is a very critical point in the separation process. I recommend you talk to a an attorney to gather more facts and to fully advise you of your rights.
This response does not intend to serve as legal advice, but only as general guidance. In order to receive specific advice relevant to your question, you should contact an attorney in your state.
The police will not get involved normally as it is not their job to interpret property rights of married people. She could attempt to go through a normal eviction, and if so you should get an attorney because you do have options. Sounds like you should think about getting a consultation anyway to start getting informed about all this including the marriage
Whether you have a marital interest (property interest) is a separate issue from the question you have asked. Yes, if the home is in your Wife's name alone, she can resort to self help and change the locks on you and lock you out. Alternatively, she can file a Wrongful Detainer action in the district court to in essence "evict" you and does not have to go through the standard landlord/tenant laws to remove you because you are not her tenant, there is no lease, etc. The cops will not likely get involved and may even tell her she can't evict you, but I would contend they are wrong. You need to obtain an attorney to get the situation as under control as it may be able to be. Do you have minor children? If so, you may be able to seek custody and use and possession of the home. It does not sound as if you have children, however. Good luck with your case.
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