Can My Husband Call the Police If I Have Changed the Locks on the House?

By Mary Jane Freeman
Without a court order, changing the locks may only be a temporary solution.

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Until a court says otherwise, your husband has as much legal right to live in your house as you do. Changing the locks on the family home so your husband doesn't have access is not a viable solution to domestic unrest. He can call the police -- and the authorities will likely inform you that unless you have a court order granting you the exclusive right to occupy the home, you must let him back in the house.

Eviction Must Be Legal

As an owner of the home, you can change the locks if you choose. However, this doesn't change your husband's right to occupy the home -- or even change the locks back -- if he shares ownership with you. This is true regardless of whose name is on the title or lease, or which one of you makes the mortgage or lease payments. Regardless of the state in which you live, the law requires that you legally evict your spouse. If you are afraid for your safety or that of your children, perhaps because of a history of domestic violence, you can obtain an order of protection, also known as a restraining order. This will bar your spouse from returning to the home, giving you exclusive use and possession of it. If you plan to divorce your spouse, you can ask the court to grant you exclusive possession of the house. You can make this request at the beginning of the divorce proceedings. If granted, the court will issue you a temporary order of possession until the divorce is granted and the matter is permanently resolved.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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