What to do if my husband left home and has been taking our joint belongings out?

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What to do if my husband left home and has been taking our joint belongings out?

My husband left me with my 2 children and moved to a new residence and changed his address at the secretary of state. After a week of him coming over and furnishing his new place with things from our home (including taking things back to the store that were purchased with a tax refund from a year where I was the main contributor), I took advice from others and changed the locks. He has not given me money for the mortgage in 2 months or the car he is driving. I need an attorney, but have to save up for one. Do I even have a leg to stand on? I feel like I am being stepped on.

Asked on September 27, 2011 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Of course you have a leg to stand on.  You husband has a legal obligation to you and your children and the mortgage and the car - he can not just move out and shirk his responsibilities.  But the thing is that you really can not change the locks unless you have an agreement giving you exclusive occupancy or a court order giving you exclusive occupancy.  That could definitely get you in to trouble.  Attorneys can indeed be expensive.  But you may be able to get one or just some advice from a legal services agency.  many courts have referral services or local bar associations with free consultation.  And the courts have mechanisms set up for child support at least that you can obtain on your own.  Good luck.


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