This is a question that is frequently asked of divorce solicitors, usually by the person who has remained living in what was the family home.

The two most common situations when this is asked is where:

  1. The property is jointly owned
  2. The property is in one person’s sole name

The property is jointly owned

If the property is jointly owned then the other person has a right of occupation as a result of their joint ownership.

This right of occupation continues even if that person moves out of the family home. Neither party has the right to lock the other person out.

Therefore, no, you should not change the locks without the other owner’s consent or if you do a key should be provided to the other party.

The property is owned solely in my name

If the property is owned solely in one persons name but has been the family home then the other person has a right not to be evicted or excluded as a result of their marriage.

In the event that they move out of the property then they must seek permission of the court before they are entitled to return. In these circumstances (where the other party has moved out and the property is owned in your sole name) you are legally able to change the locks without the need for your partner’s consent but you should consider whether it is wise to do so by taking legal advice beforehand.

What if there is domestic violence or threatening behaviour?

In circumstances where one person is subject to domestic violence or threatening behaviour by another person who has a right to live in the same property, then there is often the option to apply for an occupation order.

An occupation order is an injunction which effectively removes a person’s right to be able to live in a property.

When deciding whether or not to make an occupation order the court will take into account various factors which will include balancing the harm that each party will suffer if an order is, or is not, made.

In most cases it is preferable to try to resolve these issues without the need for court proceedings. Often one party needs to go to the property to collect their belongings for example and in this scenario arrangements should be made to enable that to happen.

Couples who find themselves in this situation should consider the options of Mediation, Collaborative Practice or Arbitration as a way to resolve and deal with the other, probably longer term, issues.

Are you separating?

Do you want to talk through the process?

Contact a member of the team

73 responses to “Can I change the locks during divorce?

  1. My husband and i live separated 5 years ago, we have a good relationship and often go out together. We have 4 children who live with me.
    He has a key to the house i live in. The house is in joint names but he hasnt paid anything towards the mortgage or bills since we separated. He pays me £100.00 per month.
    The issue that concerns me is that sometimes when im out at work he will come to the house to pick items up for the children but he will go in the loft or the shed and takes items and not say anything. He has also dug up plants from my garden and taken them to his house and not said any thing. My question is can he do this without any consultation with me? I have spoken to him about it but he just laughs and says i am being petty!

    1. Thank you for your comment. If you and your husband have separated and he has moved out of the family home then he should respect your privacy and should not enter it without your agreement. However, he does have the right to occupy the property and therefore on a practical level it is very difficult to prevent him entering the property. In certain circumstances, the court may grant an Occupation Order where there has been domestic violence or threats of harm. I would recommend that you seek legal advice from a Resolution lawyer and/or invite your husband to attend Mediation so that this issue (and others) can be discussed in an amicable way. I would hope that you could find a resolution which acknowledges your need for privacy and your husband’s need to collect his belongings and be assured that he does not lose any ‘rights’ by agreeing not to come to the house as he pleases. On a practical note please keep a note of all the items that your husband has removed from your home.

  2. I was told through my husband solicitors that he has changed the locks and the security code to the house. He has also put all my stuff out on the veranda. Firstly can he do that and also is it legal and right for his solicitor to convey that message to me.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am afraid that I cannot provide specific advice in relation to your query as I would need more information about your circumstances to know whether or not you retained a right of occupation in the property. This would be dependent upon a number of factors which are set out in the blog, such as whether the property is jointly owned or owned in one of your sole names, whether you were continuing to live in the property at the time the locks and the security code were changed and potentially other factors as well. In relation to whether it is right and legal for your husband’s solicitors to convey that message to you, there is nothing illegal or improper about them communicating this to you. I hope this helps but if I can assist on a more formal basis please do not hesitate to contact me.

  3. My ex-spouse has been given a right of occupancy on the FMH I solely own for one year (as part of the financial settlement); after then she must vacate the property so I can go back in -I was given a lump sum to rent elsewhere for one year only.
    Can I call a locksmith to open the door if she doesn’ t open the door and change the door lock? And if so, do I need to give her the new key? Finally, do I need to start an eviction process if she doesn’t move (she would be in breach of the court order)?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am afraid that I am unable to advise without seeing the order that has been made. In the circumstances I would suggest that you seek advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

  4. My ex and I have split up, she has been abusive emotionally and physically towards me for 15 years. She chose to move out of the family
    Home with the children and start fresh. She’s emptied all of our joint belongings from the house and as soon as I went away she broke into the house by damaging the property saying she wanted to collect things which I can’t see why she couldn’t have arranged this whilst I was there. I feel like I have no privacy and am scared to be in my own home if she keeps breaking in. What can I do?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I would strongly suggest that you obtain advice from a family solicitor who is a member of Resolution. One potential option that may be available to you is to consider making an application for an Occupation Order which can include provision preventing your ex-partner from entering the family home.

  5. Hi..
    I have my decree absolute but the financial part is yet to go to court. My ex wife and I jointly own two properties and she lives in the ex marital home. We have recently evicted a tenant from the other property and I got the locks changed. As I’m going to move in I don’t want to give my ex any keys as things aren’t amicable. She has asked verbally for them but there’s no reason for her to enter other than to make my life awkward. She was there on eviction day and took photos of everything but left before the locks were sorted. How can I legally deter her..? Thought of putting an alarm in and cctv but its likely she’ll do it anyway and either steal or damage my things…
    What can I do and do I HAVE to give her keys or just say drill the locks and break in if you really want to but you’re not getting them..?

    1. Thank you for your comment. If the properties are jointly owned then you are both have a right to occupy either property. There are injunctions that can be obtained from the court to prevent someone from entering a property and you may wish to speak with a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution to consider whether this would be appropriate in your case.

  6. can my wife move someone in to the property while we are going through a divorce.the property is in both names.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I believe that both you and your wife are able to grant someone a licence to occupy the property although you are each free to terminate that licence. Practically, what action, if any, you may wish to take is likely to depend upon a number of factors. I would suggest that you seek legal advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution to discuss your situation.

  7. My husband and I are currently separated. I live and work abroad, and he lives in GB . We jointly own a property, where he lives with our 20 year old daughter.
    I pay for the monthly outgoings on this property – he contributes nothing.
    Things are not amicable and he is very aggressive.
    He has threatened to throw our daughter out, and change the locks
    .
    Is he legally allowed to do this without my agreement ?
    Also, our daughter has a right to be safe in her home. Can he throw her out when I am allowing her to live there and paying all the utilities ?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I suspect that your daughter is occupying the property under a ‘licence’ which I understand can be terminated immediately. The difficulty in your circumstances is that both you and your husband can enter and terminate a licence and if you are not present then there is no one to ensure your daughter’s ability to occupy the property. However, as a joint owner you retain the right to occupy the property. I would suggest that you should speak with a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution who will be able to advise you on your particular circumstances.

  8. My husband and I have recently separated and jointly own a holiday home abroad which is on the market, but will probably take some time to sell. In the meantime we will both use it separately, agreeing dates between us. I have a lot of personal things/clothes etc. there. I am not happy about my husband’s plan to take his new partner on holiday there, but he tells me I can’t stop him. Is that correct?

    1. Thank you for your comment. As the holiday home is owned abroad I suspect that any rights regarding occupation and use would be subject to the laws of whichever country it is in. Therefore, I am afraid that I am unable to offer any guidance on this.

  9. I’m am going through a divorce at the moment,last Saturday I moved out of our jointly owned home for my own sanity .today I was told he has changed the locks is this illegal?
    He has already been warned by the police for harassment,he’s now stalking me .

    1. Thank you for your comment. Whether your husband should have changed the locks or not at this time will depend upon the specific issues in your case surrounding how the property is owned. I would suggest that you speak with a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

  10. I have left the matrimonial home after years of mental abuse and living in rented accommodation. My husband refuses to mediate or respond to six solicitor letters. I have now run out of funds to continue to pay lawyers, my two questions are do I have the legal right to enter the property which is in joint names but since I left one month ago my husband has taken over payment of mortgage and bills? And as he is refusing to negotiate sale or buying me out am I still entitled to 50% equity if this continues as I am not entitled to legal aid I cannot get any advice

    1. Thank you for your comment. If the properly is jointly owned (and providing there is no court order in place which prevents you from living in it), then you still have a right of occupation. However, before attempting to move back into the property I would strongly recommend you obtain advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution who can consider your specific circumstances with you.

      I am afraid I cannot provide any advice as to how the equity in the family home would be divided as this would depend upon the particular circumstances of your case.

  11. I am thinking to change the locks after years of mental abuse. We don’t own the property and the tenancy agreement is on my name but he doesn’t want to leave the property but doesn’t contribute the rent in full either. We also have a 4 year old daughter. He is very confident and telling me that he has a right to live in the property and l will not be able to evict him. I understand he has the right to live in the marital home but is it illegal if l change the lock ? What happens if he calls the police? Would l be forced to opent the door and let him in even though he is abusive ? It takes a long time to get a court order and very l don’t want to live with him anymore than 5 minutes. Thanks

    1. Thank you for your comment. On the assumption that you and your partner are married and have lived in the property during the course of your marriage then I believe that your partner would have a right of occupation even though the tenancy agreement is in your sole name. You should not change the locks as there are likely to be implications. You may also not be able to change the locks without your landlord’s consent. I would suggest that you seek advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution in respect of the options that may be available to you.

  12. My ex left me 3 days after Christmas in 2017 for a woman he was having an affair with.

    We both jointly own the home we bought in 2015, since then I paid the mortgage and he paid the bills which is a lot less than the mortgage each month.

    Last year he tried to kick me out of the house as we co-habitat while I waited for my childhood home up the road to have it’s renovations finished. I had a contract drawn up which he signed saying for the rest of our fixed rate we would pay half the mortgage each and come January 2021 he either has to buy me out for £60,000 or the house goes up for sale without his consent (he signed an aggrment on that) and he will get half the money after fees are taken out.

    I moved out 3 days before Christmas 2018 with our daughter who’s 3 and since then she’s gone back and forth between us. In that time I’ve been moving a lot of my things so I can upack what I take then get more when it’s put away.

    I’m currently studying law myself and he told me the other day he’s going to change the locks so I can’t have access until he gives me it. He says I can’t have a key or access to my belongings unless he says I can.

    I’ve informed him he doesn’t have that right and if he does I have a right to go to the police for access as I hold the deeds to the house as proof (held within my solicitors vault) of ownership to gain access to my things.

    He’s saying I stole £200 from him right before I moved. I didn’t he lent me £200 to pay off the final bill to the builder which I paid him back 4 days later on payday.

    He’s now since withholding to pay a utility bill that was both in our names, I got it down to a pay monthly direct debit of £65, so £32.50 each he’s claiming he can’t afford that then goes he’s changing the locks with a new front door which he can afford apparently.

    Is there any injunction I can get to stop him doing this?

    1. Thank you for your comment, I am afraid that we are unable to provide case specific advice in this forum. There are a number of issues that need to be addressed and seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer would be beneficial for you to receive the advice you require. If we can assist please do contact us.

  13. My husband moved out of our joint home 3 years ago. He moved to another country & has not contributed to the mortgage during this time. He is now intending to come back to England. Does he have a right to move back into our home?

    1. Thank you for your comment. If the property is in your joint names, your husband’s right to occupation would continue even after moving away and failing to contribute towards the mortgage. I would recommend that you seek legal advice from an expert family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as to the options available to you.

  14. I want judicial separation from my husband of 10years, we live together but due to infedelities and narcissistic behaviour l want separation. Do l need a solicitor or l can just fill the form from gove website and send it to the neares family court. We have no assets ar finances together. We only have 3 children together.

    1. Thank you for your comment. There is no requirement that you instruct a solicitor to apply for a judicial separation on your behalf however, we would always recommend that you seek some independent legal advice from a lawyer who is a member of Resolution. In your circumstances, it may be important to seek some advice on the legal consequences of a judicial separation as opposed to a divorce. We would also recommend that you seek specialist legal advice on whether you need a consent order which dismisses all future claims you and your husband may have against one another. You may also need advice regarding the arrangements for the children and/or child maintenance.

  15. I jointly own a house with my sister that we inherited from our parents. The house still contains the majority of my parents’ possessions, which are also now jointly owned by my sister and me. Neither of us has stored any of our possessions in the house, which is currently unoccupied and on sale. My sister has changed the locks and refuses to give me a key. The estate agent refuses to give me a key unless my sister gives her permission, which she refuses to do. I have never been violent or threatening towards her. She refuses all of my attempts to contact her by email, phone and text. I do not have her current address. I believe that she has acted illegally and that I am entitled to enter the house, but I do not know precisely which law she has broken. I do not know how to assert my right to enter the house. I have made inquiries with several firms of solicitors who have yet to respond (several days later). At the moment it seems that my only option is to break into the house. I do not want to do that, because I do not want the expense of the repairs to the house or to allow her the opportunity to describe my behaviour as threatening. Do I have any other option?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I would suggest that you contact a solicitor who specialises in civil litigation as this is not an area that we specialise in.

  16. My wife and i are going through a divorce after being seperated for 7 years. I have recieved a solicitors letter saying that she wants our joint property to be signed over to her. We had a verbal agreement on the day we seperated that when we started divorce proceedings the house would be signed over to our 2 children who are now 32 and 26. Has she any legal right to demand our property?

    1. Thank you for your comment. A verbal agreement between yourself and your wife is very unlikely to be binding, particularly if it is reached without financial disclosure or legal advice. I would strongly advise that you seek advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. In the event that we can assist in a more formal basis then please let us know.

  17. My husband moved out 4 months ago. I am going away on holiday and he has said he is going to move back in for a few days whilst I’m away ( I haven’t agree to this). Firstly can he do this? Can I stop him? Secondly am I right in thinking he can not invite anyone into the house without my consent. I think there is a motive this, move back in and force me to move out.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Depending upon how the property is owned your husband may have a right of occupation or given your marriage could potentially seek permission of the court to occupy in the event that the property is not jointly owned. In the event that your husband has a right of occupation and is living in the property then he is able to invite guests to the property in the same way that you are. I would advise that you consult a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. In the event that I can be of more assistance on a formal basis then please let us know.

  18. Hi. I joint own a
    House with my
    Ex. I have stuff there but very seldom
    Stay there. He has changed the locked. What are my opinion!?

    1. Thank you for your comment. If the property is jointly owned then you have a right of occupation. However, I would suggest that you focus your efforts on determining what you and your ex-partner wish to do about the property and would advise that you consult a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. In the event that I can be of more assistance on a formal basis then please let us know.

  19. My wife and I entered a temporary separation and has changed the locks on the family home.
    Does she need to provide me with a key by law?

    1. Thank you for your comment. Depending upon how the family home is owned you may have a right of occupation. However, I would urge caution about focusing on this issue. Instead, if you do not need to return to the property to live and you have reached the conclusion that your marriage is at an end, then I would suggest that you focus upon resolving financial matters to provide a long term solution. In the event that we can assist in a more formal basis then please let us know.

  20. My wife has had a injunction placed on me so i am unable to be in or go near our marital home we both own, am i able to move back into my/our home once the injunction order ends?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am afraid I cannot give specific advice within this blog as I would need to know the basis upon which the injunction was obtained and the basis upon which it comes to an end. I suspect that it is not likely to be in your best interests to move back into a property even once an injunction has come to an end and I would strongly suggest you obtain advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution before taking any steps to do so.

  21. Hi, interested to read this.
    We have had our family home for last four years tied to husband’s job, so supplied by his employer rent free.
    I’ve also worked at the same place but it goes with his senior job not mine.
    I left on 31 July. Today he came to collect daughter for first time and he asked me when I was collecting the cats; I said not ready yet in new rented home (as yet he is paying nothing towards my rent for the house I’m living in with both teenage kids) but I’ll sort with him when we can pop back (my parents and me) to collect them, that he doesn’t need to be at home etc. He says yes he does as he’s changed the locks! Can he do this? We’ve only got decree nisi not absolute. There’s been no agreement yet that I’ve made, he hadn’t asked for the keys back or anything.
    My son (who refuses to see his father hacking discovered his adultery) wants to go back and collect some of his stuff too and he doesn’t want him back in the house as he spray painted his wardrobes on leaving and husband believes this is something he will do again.
    Do I now have to get his permission to go back or should he be making it easy for me? There’s still belongings of mine like a piano and art he has agreed to store for me.

    1. Thank you for your comment. If you are no longer living in the property and it is not jointly owned then potentially you may need permission of the court to return to occupy. However, it does not sound from your comment as though you would be seeking to return to occupy the property as you already have alternative accommodation. In those circumstances, I think you would be at risk of it being considered unreasonable by a court if you were to let yourself into a property that you are no longer living in without agreement. I would therefore suggest that you make arrangements to collect your and your son’s belongings by agreement.

  22. Hi – My Husband was emotionally abusive and then got physically abusive. I had to leave the house for my own safety one night and to flee the abuse. I have 2 questions. 1 – We are getting a divorce the house is owed in my husbands name do I have any rights? 2 – I have been asking for over 6 months for my personal property as he changed the locks and was refusing to let me back in the house – we are still married. He then put my belongings including electricals and furniture outside the property. As a result some of my things have been damaged from being outsside (mainly water damage) some of my things are broke / smashed other things are missing this was so upsetting where do I stand surely he is not legally aloud to dump my personal stuff outside which includes property of the charity I work for

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am afraid that I cannot provide legal advice specific to you within this blog. However, depending upon the circumstances, potentially all assets that either party owns can be taken into consideration when the court is determining the financial claims regardless of whose name they are held in. With regard to your personal belongings potentially these can be considered within any financial proceedings but, in my experience, the ability to do this is very limited and a lot of the time it is not really considered. I would suggest that you seek advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution and if I can help on a more formal basis then please let me know.

  23. I am separated and the house is in my dole name and I bought it when we separated 6 years ago . I’ve been in a domestic violence situation 10 years . He assaulted me and was removed by the police and ordered to give me all the keys . There’s a 5 year restraint order in place until 2024
    I stupidly had the no contact part lifted but he can’t come to the house . The order stayed one visit accompanied by the police which he has had .
    He has filed for divorce stating unreasonable behaviour on my part .
    Where do I stand ? I’ve paid all the bills the last 6 years apart from council tax and he paid £400 pm for good . We have a child of 15 .
    His solicitor is requesting he comes to remove his belongings in the shed ! I’ve moved these items into the garage and sent a notice of removal too him giving him 6 weeks to arrange another party to collect them . Does he have a right to come ?
    I really don’t want him here .

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am afraid I am unable to give specific advice within this blog as I would need sight of the order. However, I wonder whether an alternative from your ex-husband attending would be for him to nominate a third party to collect his belongings without his attendance.

  24. Good morning,
    My husband and I separated sept 2017 after he was messing about behind my back. When I told him to leave he wouldn’t cause he had nowhere to go, so me and my 2 daughters left with nowhere to go.
    I contacted a solicitor that week about divorce since then my husband has refused to respond to solicitors, it’s now at a stage the property has been left to deteriorate to such a stage the house will not sell for market value. My solicitor has finally got a court action to force the sale of the house but with him still in there he will make it impossible to sell. Can a eviction order be raised so the house can be sorted and sold? What would this entail?

    1. Thank you for your comment. An occupation order is not designed to be used in order to remove someone from a property so it can be sold. I would suggest that you speak with your solicitor regarding enforcement options.

  25. My husband and I have been married 2 years and for 1 year we have lived in my own home (which I’ve owned for 17 years). I have sought legal advice as I want to divorce him for having an affair. My counsel told me I could change the locks whilst he is away on a trip. He has lived more in hotels as he is travelling constantly than he has in our home over the last 5 months. He is lying to me constantly which is causing me huge stress. So I changed the locks and now my husband says I have broken the law and that he has a right to enter our marital home of 1 year. I have given him full access to collect his things, His counsel told him he could call the police and my counsel also told me I could call the police if he showed up trying to get in. We have been given totally conflicting advice. I own the house entirely and always have done for 17 years. Which advice is correct? I have already done this now. Will this affect my divorce?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I have set out the legal position in the part of the blog titled “The property is owned solely in my name” and would suggest that you seek advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. If I can be of assistance on a more formal basis then please let me know.

  26. I am divorced living with two children ,the wife walked out 2 years ago I pay bills and mortgage.can she move back in when she wants

    1. Thank you for your comment. This is not necessarily a straightforward query as it would depend upon how the property is owned as to whether she has an automatic right of occupation or whether the permission of the court may be needed. I would suggest that you contact a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. If we can assist you on a more formal basis then please let us know.

  27. My ex changed the locks on our jointly owned property and threw me out in April and refused to provide a key.
    We did try to move things forward to repair our marriage but on September she decided it would not happen and in October moved a new partner in.
    I have no issue with the relationship breakdown or new partner moving in and intend remain amicable, reasonable and respectful continuing to.mive forward.

    My ex is now demanding the keys I have to garage and that I remove all my belongings claiming I have no right to access or to store things. Whilst ultimately I do intend to remove my stuff, currently I am not in a viable position to do so as financially I can only afford to rent a room in a house and there is physically no room there.
    Can you advise if I have a legal right to enter and utilise the space as she claims I do not.
    Thanks

    1. Thank you for your comment. Whilst you have a right of occupation (given that the property is in joint names), there is a risk that it would be considered unreasonable for you to continue to enter the property without good reason and providing reasonable notice. There is a real risk in cases such as yours that these issues end up becoming a distraction from actually reaching a broader resolution regarding your financial claims. Therefore, my suggestion would be that you focus upon this and consider contacting a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. If we can assist you on a more formal basis then please let us know.

  28. Hello,
    My wife and I separated in Dec 2019. I moved out as she asked for space. The next thing I know is that she asked for divorce on 26th Dec. The house is owned by my father and I prior to my marriage. What rights do I and my father have in regards to access to the property?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I imagine that this is probably a very worrying time for you. From a legal perspective if you are an owner of the property then you have a right of occupation. However, in circumstances where you are not living in the property, having already moved out, it may be considered unreasonable for you to attempt to access it without your wife’s agreement. It is worth bearing in mind that these issues can prove to be an expensive and time consuming distraction from the substantive issues that need to be resolved in your case e.g. longer term living arrangements, division of the assets. I would strong recommend that you obtain legal advice from a lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. We are able to offer appointments by telephone or video.

  29. I live with my partner in a property that his ex partner (not wife) has a share in but has never paid any of the joint mortgage. they were not married but we’re together 25 years with kids until she left. They are currently sorting out assets via property law with solicitors. However the Ex is threatening me with an eviction notice, I don’t pay rent and my partners solicitor said that was then fine for me to move in. Can she do this, and if so what can I do or should expect?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am afraid that I am not able to advise upon individual circumstances and would suggest that you seek advice from a family solicitor who is a member of Resolution.

  30. Me and my ex was together for 17 years and have 2 children, we had 2 houses together both in his name as I had to much debt, I put £2000 into the second house he remortgaged our house twice without me knowing, I only found out when I went to a divorce lawyer! He has now changed the locks and told me I’m entitled to nothing! I already have a lawyer who is very good, I’m just really looking for a second opinion

    1. Thank you for your comment. We would be very happy to provide a second opinion but in order to do so we would need to fully understand your circumstances and would only be able to do so on the basis that we were formally instructed. If you would like us to assist you in this way then please let us know.

    2. Hi – myself and my ex have separated and agreed to both move out of the jointly owned property. (I pay the mortgage and all the bills) but both names are on the deeds.

      The home has been empty for a few months now but my ex has moved in with their new partner without my knowledge and I’m still paying for everything. They are refusing to contribute or move out.

      Is there anything I can do??

    3. Thank you for your comment. There are steps that can be taken to resolve matters but what these are and whether they may lead to an outcome that you wish will depend upon your particular circumstances. I would suggest that you seek advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution and please let me know if we can assist on a more formal basis.

  31. I’m currently going through a divorce and we are still living in our jointly owned home. My husband has changed the padlock to our side entry gate and refuses to provide me with a key, Can he keep me from having access? Would I be in any legal trouble if I cut the lock? My fear is needing to have access to exit with my children should there be a fire or emergency, like getting away from my husband.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Lynn. In view of the fact that you are married and jointly own the property you both have a right to occupy it. However, as frustrating as this is, you may wish to focus your energies upon resolving your broader financial claims. I would suggest that you seek advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

  32. My mum and siblings were subjected to mental abuse, coercive behaviour and manipulation. After months of asking her husband to leave the house which is solely in her name, he would chip away at her character until one day she changed the locks. He got a locksmith out himself and is now charging my mum for it 4 years later – with interest. Can he do this?

    1. Thank you for your comment, Laura. I am afraid I cannot advise upon one issue in isolation without a full understanding of the circumstances of your mum’s case. I would suggest she seeks advice from a lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

  33. My ex husband’s brother still has a key to my property which is now being transferred into my sole name. He has said this key has been lost but it makes me extremely uneasy knowing there is a key lying around somewhere and i feel unsafe. My ex has returned his key but it is this “missing” key that i am worried about. Can I insist that it is returned or can he be liable to get the locks changed for my own peace of mind? They are security keys so i think it would be a case of replacing the whole door, not just the lock which is an expensive option and one i am not prepared to pay for. Thanks

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am afraid that I am unable to comment about individual circumstances in this blog and would suggest that you take advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. I understand your concern but it will be very difficult to demand that a key is returned if it is genuinely missing. Once the property has been transferred into your sole name you will be able to change the locks as you see fit.

  34. Hi, I separated with the mother of my children in 2010, I’m still on the mortgage and the land registry documents, she changed the locks to the house without my written consent, I’ve now requested via her solicitor that and issue me with a key within the next 30 days, as I wish to inspect the property once a year and have it surveyed and valued by an estate agent.

    Do you believe I’ve done anything unreasonable.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am afraid that I am unable to comment about individual circumstances in this blog and would suggest that you take advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

  35. My husband says he will change locks on house if I leave the house for longer than 2 days to be with my boyfriend
    We are in process of divorce can this happen

  36. My wife left our jointly rented home last week and went to live with her daughter.
    We spoke about splitting up our belongings and came to an agreement however she is now demanding more items.
    My question is can my wife just enter our home and remove anything she likes possibly while I am at work?
    Thank you

    1. Thank you for your comment. Belongings would normally be dealt with as part of a final financial order addressing financial claims between you and your Wife. I would suggest that you seek specialist advice upon your situation from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

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