If a relationship ends, can one of the owners be locked out?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If a relationship ends, can one of the owners be locked out?

My significant other and I ended our relationship after 17 years. We have 2 children and purchased a home together. He got caught cheating was asked to leave and he did. He will not give me his set of keys. I wanted to know, do I have the right to change the locks without recourse? His name is on the mortgage but he no longer lives in the home.

Asked on October 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

One of the owners may *not* be locked out by the other one. If you both own the home, you both have equal rights to it; neither may evict the other. The best way to resolve this is with a voluntary settlement: one of you agrees to buy out the interest or share of the other; or you both jointly agree to either sell the home and split the proceeds or to rent it out (while living elsewhere) and share the rental income; etc. If you cannot come to a mutually acceptable agreement, then your recourse would be to bring a legal action (generally called an action for partition) in which the court will order the sale of the property and distribution of the proceeds.


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