At what point can a wife change the locks on her estranged husband?

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At what point can a wife change the locks on her estranged husband?

The husband left his wife over 3 years ago and has taken up domicile with another woman. If the house is in both of their

names, can she change locks and security codes to keep

him out?

Asked on September 2, 2018 under Family Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, she cannot. Estranged or not, living with another or not, so long as they are still married, she cannot lock him out of the marital residence. If she wants to exclude him from her life, she needs to actually divorce him and exclude him from her life. After the divorce is final, she can absolutely keep him out; even before the divorce is final, she may be able to if she can show there is some good reason. She should consult with a family/divorce law attorney about filing a divorce.


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