IN A DOMESTIC SEPARATION, IS THE ESTRANGED SPOUSE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE RESIDENCE OF THE OTHER SPOUSE WITHOUT PERMISSION?

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IN A DOMESTIC SEPARATION, IS THE ESTRANGED SPOUSE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE RESIDENCE OF THE OTHER SPOUSE WITHOUT PERMISSION?

MY WIFE HAS MOVED OUT. WRITTEN A LETTER DETERMINING HER NEW ADDRESS AND CONFIRMING WE HAVE DECIDED TO LIVE SEPERATE AND APART. I CHANGED THE LOCKS ON MY HOUSE (WHICH WAS PURCHASED PRIOR TO OUR MARRIAGE) AND HAS BROKEN INTO MY HOME ON 2 DIFFERENT OCCASIONS. WE WERE ONLY MARRIED FOR 11 MONTHS.

Asked on July 19, 2010 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You run in to certain problems here with this situation.  The house was your prior to marriage so unless you have done something affirmative like added her to the deed, it will probably remain separate property and not subject to distribution at the time of the divorce.  BUT, you have made it at the very least the marital home.  And there is where the problem may lie.  Even with the letter, etc., I would be leery to change the locks, etc., without a court order allowing you to do so.  I would start an action and petition the court.  I would ask that there be a restraining order put in to place regarding you and the home.  Seek legal help asap.  You can and should try and call the police every time she breaks in to make a report.  It may or may not help but it certainly will not hurt.  Good luck.


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