Read This Before You Change the Locks on the House to Keep Your Spouse Out
My wife left me on 11/25 and has not slept at home since then. She has been stopping at the house for the past two weeks packing her belongings while I’m at work. She is scheduled to move everything out on 12/13. I own the house and the mortgage/title is in my name onIy. I’m worried that she will take my furniture, appliances and other important possessions and leave me with nothing. People have told me this is grounds for abandonment and that I can change the locks to prevent her from coming into the house. I’m currently looking for a lawyer to to represent me in the divorce but I want to protect myself before its too late.
You can change the locks, but she may break in and a court may not hold her accountable for doing so because it was the marital residence. Since the house is in your name, you have a better likelihood of keeping her out than if the house was in joint names. I would recommend that you find counsel as quickly as you can. Abandonment does not pertain to changing the locks; rather it provides a basis for a divorce if she left over your objection and remains away for more than one year. Since we have no fault divorce in New York, you do not need to rely on a fault basis for divorce, which is what abandonment is.
Has your spouse moved out of the marital home? Let the divorce attorneys at Jean Mahserjian PC in Saratoga easily guide you through you matter at hand.