What canI do if my soon-to-be-ex is trespassing in my home?

Me and my ex are no longer together and no longer live together. He will not give me back the keys or garage door opener because he filed for divorce. He said he doesn’t have too until we go to court. He comes and goes as he pleases while I am at work. He is not paying any of the mortgage or any of the other household bills but still come in whenever to do his laundry, shower and whatever else while I am at work. How can I stop this?

Asked on August 30, 2011 Colorado


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately your husband has every right to come an go as he pleases. At this point the house is considered to be the "marital residence" and accordingly both parties have equal rights to possession. This is true no matter who is paying the mortgage. However all that can change if: a final divorce decree is issued the house may be awarded to you); a legal separation agreement is executed (and it gives you the exclusive use of the house); or some sort of temporary order is issued (e.g. protective or stay away order) which calls for his removal from the home.

At this point consult to directly with a local divorce attorney. They will be in the best position to explain your rights.

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