If my wife left but my name is the only one on lease, can I change the locks and keep her out?

UPDATED: Feb 26, 2016

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Feb 26, 2016Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my wife left but my name is the only one on lease, can I change the locks and keep her out?

She can have whatever she wants from home; I just don’t want her coming back. She is a alcoholic that’s been in and out of hospitals and addiction homes.

Asked on February 26, 2016 under Family Law, Indiana


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, until a final decree of divorce has been issued or a formal sepration agreement has been entered into, the home of a married couple remiand the "marital residence". This means that each spouse has equal rights of use and occuancy. Therefore, one spouse cannot lock out the other spouse. If, however, one spouse has put the other spouse in fear for their safety, then the victimized spouse can apply for a protective order to keep the other spouse from entering the premises. The process for this varies from state-tostate. If you think that might be applicable to your situation, you should consult further with a local divorce attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption