Can I change the locks on my home?

My soon to be ex-wife moved out of the home on November 6, 2016 and moved in with her boyfriend. The home is in my name only. She has no belongings inside the residence. She agreed via text message to allow me to store the remainder of her belongings in a storage building on the property. She has full and complete access to that storage building. She continues to come to the house and go inside and rummage through the belongings of other residences of the home. Cannot be proven but she has taken items from the home that are not hers. She has removed mail from the mail box that does not belong to her. I am concerned that this will continue.

Asked on March 13, 2017 under Family Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless and until there is a formal separation agreement in place or a final decree of divorce has been issued, the home remains the "joint marital residence". This means that she has the same right to be there as you, even if she has moved out. This is true no matter whose name the deed/lease is in. At this point, you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area; they can best advise you further.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless and until there is a formal separation agreement in place or a final decree of divorce has been issued, the home remains the "joint marital residence". This means that she has the same right to be there as you, even if she has moved out. This is true no matter whose name the deed/lease is in. At this point, you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area; they can best advise you further.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.