If the divorce papers statethat the house is mine, can I change the locks?

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If the divorce papers statethat the house is mine, can I change the locks?

Ex-wife is taking her time getting out. What will the police do if I do this? She hasn’t put forth any money this month. Does she have a certain amount of time.?

Asked on August 21, 2010 under Family Law, Arkansas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I need to understand where you are in the divorce process.  I think that you are done, correct?  And the house was awarded to you in the divorce proceeding?  Then if you have an order granting you possession you can surely change the locks.  I would also send her something in writing advising her that she needs to have the stuff out by a certain date or you will take the necessary steps to remove the property (I wouldn't really do anything to her stuff; it could be seen as conversion; you may need to go to court again or put the stuff in storage).  The part of your question that baffles me is the money for the month part. That makes me think that you may not have been awarded the house outright.  I would check with your lawyer on all of this and take suggestions from him or her on how to proceed.  Good luck.


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