What are the ways to protect myself from an ex-girlfriend who has moved out?

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What are the ways to protect myself from an ex-girlfriend who has moved out?

My girlfriend has moved out and we still talk. We are on good terms, however she is coming back from the Dominican Republic and asked, ‘If she could stay in the house for a night

Asked on July 17, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) If she "has joint ownership" in the house, she is as much an owner as you. Any owner has the right to access, use, reside in, store belongins in, etc. property they own or co-own. She can move back in without your consent; you cannot keep a co-owner out. For this reason, you can't change the locks on her: she has to be able to enter her property.
2) She can't change the locks and exclude you for the same reason. If she tries to, you can go to the county court and quickly get a court order (enforceable by the police or sheriff) that she let you back in.
3) Ideally, you and she should work out the disposition of the home voluntarily (e.g. with a voluntary buyout). If you can't, you could file a legal action traditionally called an action for "partition" (your state may have a different name for it) in which you seek a court order requiring that the home be sold and the proceeds (after paying the costs of sale and paying off any mortgages, liens, etc.) be divided between the two of you. A real estate attorney can help you with this.


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