If a person is on the deed of a shared home, what are their rights to it?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If a person is on the deed of a shared home, what are their rights to it?

A husband is in the home that the wife left due to abuse. He now is occupying the home and has changed the locks, which the wife and kids had access to. However, now that he has met someone in the midst of separation, he is stating that his wife abandoned the home and is not allowed in it. Yet, her name is on the deed. He is on the loan.

Asked on October 9, 2018 under Family Law, Texas


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, one owner cannot evict another owner or prevent them from re-entering the property. This is basic real estate law. Additionally, from a marital law perspective, one spouse cannnot prohibit the other spouse from living or entering the property unless there exists a legal separation agreement or final decree of divorce giving them that right. Until then, the house remains the "joint marital residence". This means that both spouses have equal rights to the use and enjoyment of the property. This is true no matter whose name is on the deed.    

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