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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117457
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Can I change the locks on my house Can I make my husband

Customer Question

Can I change the locks on my house? Can I make my husband leave a vehilce thats paid for & take the car thats not. Truck has my name on it & car is financed in his name only. He left 10/30 & has established residence in WV,that was done within 24 hours.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
While you are currently married, the law provides that each spouse has the right to access the marital home, meaning if you change the locks he can enter the home forcibly. As far as the cars, the ownership is premised upon the name the titles are in, not who financed the vehicles. To accomplish all of this legally, you need to file for divorce/separation and get a temporary order regarding the property and the possession of the house.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
So basically I have no recourse? He abandoned our home physically & financially on 10/30. I am left to pay the bills/cost associated with keepng it up. How do I keep him from cleaning me out while I am at work? Where does his financially responsibility fall? He can walk away from our financial burden scott free? He has a place to live he took our camper & parked it at his brothers in WV. I cant leave our home its our responsiblity. The truck has both names on it my name is first. The car has his name only.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
You do have recourse, just not self-help. Your recourse is to file either a legal separation or a divorce (same paperwork, just that separation does not end the marriage) and ask for temporary possession of the home, which would then bar his entry and allow you to change the locks, and to seek possession of at least one of the vehicles. Since both names are XXXXX XXXXX truck, it doesn't matter whose name is XXXXX XXXXX is considered marital property and both parties are entitled to possession and the court would have to make the determination. You can also as part of either the legal separation or the divorce make a claim against him for spousal support and for payment of a share of the bills. So, you do have recourse, but you have to go to court to get it.