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I am seriously considering divorcing my wife of 22 years. Here's the problem: We rent an apartment from her mother. the utilities are all in my name. Since the rent is reasonable and the apartment is convenient, I would like to stay here after starting divorce proceedings. Can I legally throw my wife out of an apartment her mother owns and continue living in the apartment?
I imagine that the situation is not amicable. To begin, do you have a lease? Simply having utilities in your name does not necessarily confer rights in you.

Second, as your wife is not your subtenant but a co-tenant, you will again have a problem trying to evict your wife from the apartment within which she resides.

Third, if you are considering divorce, it may not look very good with regard to settling matters during divorce proceedings if you have just tried to kick your wife out of your common residence. You may want to think of the long terms effects of your actions.

Thank you for responding.

No, we do not have a lease, It is basically a month to month agreement.

This, hopefully, will be an uncontested divorce that I will file pro se, so, long term, evicting my wife from the apartment should not matter as far as how it looks in court. However, I do intend to seek custody of our 16 year old son(We also have an 18 year old daughter away at college).

Again, thank you for responding.
If you have a month to month agreement with the landlady -- your wife's mother, then you might want to look for a place yourself, and quickly. I don't know the situation between you and your mother-in-law, but you can be ousted yourself within 30 days. Unless pursuant to some agreement, some type of rent control or stabilization or other law, she could give you thirty days notice that she is not renewing your lease. Depending upon the jurisdiction, you may get a maximum of 60 days.

I don't know the situation, but trying to oust your wife from the apartment owned by her mother seems a little unusal and unlikely. I don't know the situation but this may not be the best way to go about what you intend and perhaps you should consider seeking a new residence and fresh start. Additionally, while I'm sure you are aware and do have the best of intentions, your children are involved and any actions that could significantly hurt your current wife may also have effects upon your children -- who is their mother regardless of your relationship. Divorce is almost never a good situation and it is sometimes difficult to remember how the other players in this game can be affected, who are just as important if not more so.
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