If I moved out but now want to move back in, can my wife change the locks?

UPDATED: Nov 19, 2012

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If I moved out but now want to move back in, can my wife change the locks?

My wife and I live in a house that has both our names on it. I moved out for a few months in an apartment due to us not getting along. I have decided to move back in but my wife changed the locks. There is no abuse, we just grew apart. However, I cannot afford 2 housholds and that is still my house.

Asked on November 19, 2012 under Family Law, South Carolina


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No she cannot change the locks or attempt to keep you from entering in anyway. If this home has been your marital residence, she cannot prohibit you from entering or otherwise have you removed without a court order. This is true no matter whose name is on the deed.

Note: This does not mean that you will automatically have equity rights to the house; you may or may not have such rights. This will be addressed has part of your property settlement if you divorce.

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