What is the benefit of forcing parties who are divorcing to live together? Without a finding of violence or fear for physical safety, New York courts have been far too reluctant to grant interim exclusive occupancy of a family home to a spouse. Although courts will grant temporary occupancy to one spouse when finding “domestic strife” in the household, this can only happen if an alternate residence is available to the ejected spouse. So-called “petty harassments” such as hostility and contempt have traditionally failed to meet the standard because they are considered part of the overall divorce process.
It is time for the courts to place priority upon the emotional well-being of people that are divorcing (and their children) and to grant separations to parties as an interim step toward resolution. It defies reason to subject an individual to the regular mental and emotional anguish often caused by living with a spouse they are divorcing. The divorce process is known to place a person in one of the most vulnerable positions of their lives. This is only magnified when compelled to share the same space with someone who is focusing their anger and resentments upon them.
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