Can a spouse change the locks on the house before the initial court hearing?

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Can a spouse change the locks on the house before the initial court hearing?

Asked on August 28, 2015 under Family Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Once divorce/separation papers have been filed, one spouse cannot prohibit the other spouse from entering the "marital home". Exclusive use and possession of the premises must be determined by the court. This is typically done when a divorce is finalized. Until then, either spouse may occupy the home this is true regardles of whose name the mortgage/lease is in.
At this point, you should consult with a divorce attrorney in your area.


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