Can my husband change the locks and only allow me to enter the home when he is there?

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Can my husband change the locks and only allow me to enter the home when he is there?

I left my home apx 4 weeks ago after 21 years. There is no chance of reconciliation. I was told by a police officer that I could get a restraining order of some kind that would allow me to have him removed for a period of time to allow me to get my belongings. Please advise

Asked on May 1, 2017 under Family Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, your husband cannot do this. Unless you enter a formal separation agreement or have a final decree of divorce which states who has the exclusive right of occupancy, the house remainns the "joint marital residence". This means that you both have equal rights to the possession and use. So if your husband has not yet chnaged the locks, you can enter when he is at work, etc. If he has already changed the locks, you can have them drilled open by a locksmith and have them re-keyed, although this will in all liklihod escalate the situation. If you simply want is to get your belongings, you may want to get an order allowing you entry while your husband is prevented from being there at the time. At this point, you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area; they can best further advise you.

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, your husband cannot do this. Unless you enter a formal separation agreement or have a final decree of divorce which states who has the exclusive right of occupancy, the house remainns the "joint marital residence". This means that you both have equal rights to the possession and use. So if your husband has not yet chnaged the locks, you can enter when he is at work, etc. If he has already changed the locks, you can have them drilled open by a locksmith and have them re-keyed, although this will in all liklihod escalate the situation. If you simply want is to get your belongings, you may want to get an order allowing you entry while your husband is prevented from being there at the time. At this point, you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area; they can best further advise you.


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