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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30167
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Wife has moved out (separated now 6 weeks), can I change

Customer Question

Wife has moved out (separated now for almost 6 weeks), can I change locks on the door?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

The fact that she moved out does NOT serve as a total relinquishment of her claim to the property. You have the ability to file for divorce and, along with that, file a Motion for Exclusive Use and Possession of the Marital Home. That means you'd explain to the judge that she left and why you should be allowed to be the one who stays there at least until the divorce is finalized. She'll also get a chance to explain why SHE should get to stay in the house. And then the judge will issue a court order, that tells her to stay out. She may also get a deadline for coming to pick up any stuff she left behind. You'd also be allowed to change the locks first.

The problem with just changing the locks is that, if her name is ***** ***** house, she could just hire a locksmith and change them back (or get all new locks). And then you're out the money you spent but still have to go to court. Whether her name is ***** ***** house or not, if you lived there as a married couple, she could also file for divorce and file the Motion herself, which doesn't help you at all.

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