Can I change the lock to my house if my husband and I are legally separated?

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Can I change the lock to my house if my husband and I are legally separated?

My husband and I have a postnuptial agreement and we are also legally separated. The separation agreement states that he must vacate within 30 days. 8 months have passed and he refuses to leave. He is living in my house for free and suing me for alimony even though we have these two agreements. I have also sent him a warning that he has 30 days to move out. The house is in solely in my name and I pay the mortgage and all of the bills. He doesn’t work and stays in my house all day waiting for me to give him money and refusing to leave. Can I change the locks to my house?

Asked on April 20, 2012 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

Rachel Weisman, Esq. / Weisman Law Group, P.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

NY does not recognize "self help" so that basically menas that you cannot take it upon yourself to change the locks without giving him a key while he is living in the martial residence. That being said, if you have an agreement (signed and notarized between the two of you) and he has already started a lawsuit for alimony, if that lawsuit is in Supreme Court, cross move and ask the court to compel him to move out based on the agreement.

Keep in mind that this may affect whether the court will obligate you to pay him spousal support (alimony). Talk to your lawyer. He/she should explain the law to you in detail.

 

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