Change of locks

If my husband had left our house without doing any legal paperwork, can I change the door locks?

Asked on March 15, 2017 under Family Law, California


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot change the locks. At least not right now. Until there is a formal separation agreement or final decree of divorce stating otherwise, the house mains the "joint marital residence". This means that you both have equal rights to the use occupancy of it. This is true no matter whose name that the deed/lease is in and whether or not your husband has moved out.

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