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Can my wife, in Illinois, keep me from living in my house during a non-legal marital separation?

Chicago, IL |

My wife and I are currently having marital difficulties. To improve our relationship I moved out of the house a few weeks ago with the understanding that I would eventually move back in. I have three minor children. I am currently staying in a long term hotel and wish to return back home. After speaking with my children it is clear that my wife is not able to effectively parent the three kids nor manage the household alone. Ignoring the potential effects doing so may have on our marriage, is there any way for her to legally keep me out of the house if I want to return. I am certain doing so is in my children's best interest. Does she have the right to keep me out of the home? If not, how should I go about returning? Thank you for your help.

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Attorney answers 3


She does not have the right to keep you out of the house unless she has a court order granting her possession of the house. As to how you go about getting back in, the key words are peacefully and reasonably. Do not cause a confrontation that could result in an order of protection against you. If you feel it necessary for your protection, consider having someone help you initially or to act as a witness in case she makes up some allegation of abuse.


Unless or until she gets a court order to the contrary, you are free to return to the home.


I would recommend a book called, "The Five Languages of Love" by Dr. Gary Chapman for you to look at if you are considering reconciling and working things out. Sometimes, it is easier to read a book than accept going to marriage counseling. Good luck to you.
Best regards,

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