If my son is sole owner of his house and his girlfriend recently took their son and moved out, can he change the locks?

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If my son is sole owner of his house and his girlfriend recently took their son and moved out, can he change the locks?

Asked on January 22, 2013 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If he is the sole owner, then he can change the locks.  However, if she claims and can prove that they were common law married and that this house was their residence during the marriage, she could petition for access to the house.  Access means being able to get back inside to retrieve items.  It does not mean that she would be awarded the house if it is his separate property in Texas. If she has items that are still in the house, he should make arrangements to have someone return them to her so that he does not get accused of theft or converstion.


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