How to Evict a Domestic Partner

By Louise Balle

Updated November 18, 2017

When two domestic partners part ways, the eviction process can help remove an ex who does not want to leave. The law in most states says that someone who has been living with you for a certain number of months has a legal right to live there, even if the person isn't on the rental agreement or an owner of the home. Assuming you are the homeowner or the tenant on the lease, filing for an eviction against your domestic partner can legally remove them from the property.

Notify the domestic partner that you intend to evict, in writing. You can do this by sending a certified letter to your home in the person's name, posting a note on the door, or handing the notice directly to them. The note must specify the date by which you want the person to leave. The time, or notice, requirement depends on the state and how long they have lived with you. For example, 30 days is typically an acceptable amount of notice, but your state or city may require more time, such as 60 days. Keep a copy of this notice for your records and to bring with you to file the eviction.

If your partner refuses to leave, go to your local court administration building and ask to file an eviction. It has to be a courthouse in your county. The clerk will quote you the filing fees and give you the appropriate paperwork, usually called a "Complaint for Eviction," or similar. Complete the paperwork and pay the fees. Filing a complaint against your former domestic partner can cost between $90 and $400, depending on where you live. (see ref. 4)

Be sure to include any rent due or damages that you are seeking from the domestic partner in the eviction paperwork. If you can prove it in court, usually via receipts and pre-written agreements, the judge may order a monetary judgment in addition to granting the eviction.

The court will serve the defendant, which is your domestic partner, with paperwork stating that she has to go to court regarding the eviction. If they do not appear in court, the eviction may be granted automatically. If both of you appear in court, each will be able to state your case before a judge.

When the eviction is granted, your domestic partner will have a few days to either appeal or leave the premises. If the domestic partner does not leave as required by your eviction order, you may need to file a "writ of possession" asking the court to allow the sheriff to come and physically be removed.


File a restraining order with your local courthouse if the domestic partner is violent or abusive in any way. This will automatically evict the person, because she is unable to come within a certain number of feet from you. You have to own the property to evict someone. If you are leasing an apartment, you have to either talk to your landlord about evicting the partner, or move out early to avoid the person. If the person is not on the lease but refuses to leave your home, call the police. The officer will usually escort out the person (be sure ask the officer for any keys in the person's possession). If the domestic partner has been living at the apartment for a long time, the police may not be able to make the person leave legally, but will advise you on what to do if you want your partner gone for good. In any case, be sure to file a report with your local police department about the situation.