Husband filed a petition for dissolution of his marriage to Wife. During the case, Wife filed a petition for exclusive possession of the marital residence during the divorce. Husband filed a Motion to Dismiss that Petition. He argued that Wife’s petition was not specific enough. How could Husband answer the Petition if he did not know specifically what Wife said was threatening behavior from him?
Wife’s petition included only the following words without more detail: The mental well-being of the Wife and the minor children of the marriage will be threatened by Husband’s continuing to live in the house with the family.
The court denied Husband’s arguments against the Petition. The court said that it would have preferred to have more detail in the Petition. But, the court did not feel that Husband had been “meaningfully disadvantaged.”
At hearing, Wife specifically said that she was seeking exclusive possession of the marital residence because she felt there was a lot of tension and stress in the home. She said that Husband never hit her. She said that she had never called the police. She said he was verbally aggressive toward her. She said there was a constant threat of physical aggression toward her. Wife testified she felt intimidated, bullied, antagonized, and uncomfortable. She stated the parties’ youngest daughter would cry and both children expressed that they did not like it when their parents argued.
Husband described the parties’ living situation as “typical” for that of a divorcing family. The Court finally stated that if the physical or mental well-being of either spouse or their children is jeopardized by the occupancy of the marital residence by both spouses, it can remove one parent. Husband was out until the case was resolved.
Likely, at the end of the case one of them would own the house, or they would sell it.
In re Marriage of Engst, 2140 IL App (4th) 131078.

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