If I have lived with my partner on and off for almost 10 years as husband and wife but the home is in his name only, can he now force me to leave?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I have lived with my partner on and off for almost 10 years as husband and wife but the home is in his name only, can he now force me to leave?

I pay all of the bills in the home and have the receipts for it. We also have 2 children in common. We are also listed as husband and wife on our vehicle insurance paperwork and most people know us as husband and wife. We are planning on separating due to his infidelity and unresolved issues. I also have the paperwork that he gave me showing that he had contracted 2 STD’s in his infidelity. He is trying to tell me that I must leave the home that I pay the bills in and have lived in all these years. Is that legal? Can the police force me to leave? Do I have any rights as far as staying in the home?

Asked on December 9, 2015 under Family Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The police won't force you to leave as long as you stand firm that this is your home, ya'll are husband and wife, and that your name are on some of the bills.  To prove this, keep documents handy in your purse or car to show that you and he have held yourselves out as married.
Assuming that you weren't married, then your husband would still have go through proper channels to get you removed, namely a formal eviction.
However, because you are married and you have some type of property interest in the house, the way to assert that interest is through a divorce action.  You mention that the house in his name.  What determines whether a property is community versus separate property turns on when it was acquired, not the title.  Even if his name is on the title, if it was aquired during the marriage-- it is community property.  If the house was aquired before the marriage, then you may have a claim for reimbursement.  This occurs when community funds (any income by you or him acquired during the marriage) were used to pay for the house.... and you ask the court to repay you for a portion of those funds. 
Because he has committed adultery during the marriage and has potentially exposed you to STD's, then you may be able to ask the court to for an unequal division of the community estate on the basis of fault or an intentional tort (namely exposure to the STD). 
If he persists in trying to kick you out, you need to seek the assistance of an attorney to get the divorce action filed and obtaining temporary orders to insure that you have a place to live while the divorce is pending.  If you cannot afford a divorce, then contact your local district clerk to see what resources are available for persons with limited resources.  Many jurisdictions offere pro bono services as well... that teach people how to file their divorces on their own and help them with the preparation of the paperwork.

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