After my spouse moves out, how long do I have to wait before I can change the locks?

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After my spouse moves out, how long do I have to wait before I can change the locks?

Asked on November 2, 2012 under Family Law, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If it's your house, you don't have a set time frame for when you can change the locks.  However, if the house is also your spouse's house, just know they have the same right to go get the locks changed as well. 

If the lock change is for safety or security purposes, consider going ahead and filing for divorce and include a request for temporary or protective orders which grant you the exclusive right to use the residence while the divorce is pending.  Orders based on these type of motions will strip your spouse of the right to come back in and re-change the locks. 


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