What can I do if my wife walked out on me and my kids 3 years ago and has an apartment of her own but is now threatening to call the police if I don’t give her a key to the house?

Her name is on the deed but I’m making the payments. Can she legally come into my house since we are not divorced yet and do I have to give her a key?

Asked on December 17, 2015 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You don't have to give her a key.  She has already abandoned the marital residence.  She could, however, make entry and you couldn't press charges because her name is on the deed. 
To prevent her from getting access to your house, or the children for that matter, you really need to get the divorce going and request some temporary orders.  I understand that you have not been able to afford the divorce yet... but look into some non-profit organizations in your area.  The district clerk's office is a good starting point.  Contact your local bar association.  Even if they can't give you full representation, the often offer clinics to help people complete the documents needed to file the divorce action themselves.

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