Wife has locked husband out of home, what are husband's rights under MA state law to get legal access to the home?

Asked about 6 years ago - Springfield, MA

My wife filed for divorce and a restraining order. She has since dropped the restraining order because she has found it is hard to get money from me with a no contact order. There is no basis for the restraining order. I have since found out she is entertaining a boyfriend in our family house while my son is sleeping. She has also changed all the locks on the house and threatens to reinstate the restraining order if I come on the property.

My question is, will a judge bar another man in my house while my son is there? (I think it's just too early). Do I have any legal access to the house? I have reason to believe the new boyfriend has a criminal record, but I have little proof.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. John Thomas Gosselin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . You need a lawyer. Today. Now. By letting her take control of the proceedings like this you will be constantly on the defense and not claiming your rights. You need a lawyer to establish clear guidelines for the house, the division of money and whether her boyfriend can even be in the house while your child is present. I might seek relief from the court by asking them to not allow this man in the house or if he does live in the house that he pay market rent. Get a lawyer, call the Springfield Bar Association and ask for a family lawyer.

  2. Jessica Ann Foley

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . You need a lawyer. If your wife has taken out a restraining order against you, there may be criminal ramifications. At this point, it is good that she dropped the order. However, you should call the local bar referral service (I assume that there is one in Springfield) and ask for the name of a Family Lawyer. Also, (although I don't recommend this as a solution) the Family and Probate Courts in Massachusetts usually have a Lawyer of the Day program, so if you want more detailed info and advice you may go there and speak to whovever is on duty. This is not a substitute for hiring your own counsel, but may make you feel like you have a slightly better handle on the information in the interim.

  3. Karen M Duffy

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . While a spouse cannot just change the locks to the marital home without a Court order granting her exclusive use and occupancy of the home, you really want to evaluate the motivation for having access to your home. Is it because there are items of personal property you want back or it is to ensure that the boyfriend does not come around. If it is the latter, you have to be very careful as she has already shown that she has no problems trying to get a restraining order against you and may very well try again. Some stones may be better left unturned.

    You really want to speak with a lawyer about your options regarding this new boyfriend, but know that just because you believe that it is too soon does not mean that the Court will agree with you unless this new person posses a risk of harm to your child. If you suspect harm, you may want to explore the options of a GAL or request that the Court appoint a attorney for the child through the Children's Law Project, which is available in Hampden County, depending on your child's age.

  4. Henry Lebensbaum

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You need to be extremely careful and get an attorney to walk you through.
    The threat of a restraining order is not only its civil impact, but its criminal potential.
    You should seek the assistance of the probate court by filing the appropriate motion.
    You may also want to have a GAL appointed.

    If you need assistance, or have questions contact me.

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