Can I change locks on my home before divorce?

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Can I change locks on my home before divorce?

We have been only married 7 months, he has only mail that comes there. His belongings are still there and he refuses to leave. I have 2 children from previous marriage and we cannot stay in house when he is there. So can I change the locks and is I do can he legally

break in? I am the sole owner of the home.

Asked on August 12, 2017 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Regardless of whose name that the house is in, until a formal separation agreement has been entered into or a final decree of divorce has been granted, the house remains the "joint marital residence". This means that you both have the right to live there, even if your husband has moved out. Therefore, do not change the locks; legally it is still his home. And if you do change them, he can re-key the locks to get back in.


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