Married, recently moved (less than 30 days). Not legally separated or divorced. My name is on the deed to our home, but not on the loan. We don't know if this is temporary or if legal separation/divorce is in the future. I'm aware of the financial responsibility, what are my other rights. Do I have the right to get into the home? Many of my personal belongings are still there, is there a time limit to getting them? Locks are changed, I don't have a key. Do I still have a legal right to get in?
Generally, until there is a judicial determination of a change in legal rights, that is still your home. You have not lost those rights simply because you have moved out of the home. Additionally, neither of you is allowed to lock out the other. That being said, if there is a restraining or protective order in place, you will need to abide the terms of that order.
The answers provided in this forum by me and transmitted by users of this forum are not to be considered legally binding in any way, nor is there an intent to form an attorney client relationship. If further information is required, seek competent legal counsel.
If you are an owner of the home and can enter without breach of the peace, you may enter the home, so long as there is no court order precluding you from the home. Thus, you can contact a locksmith, have proof of your ownership and authorize him to change the lock, just as you spouse did (I presume. If it is a matter of obtaining your personalty, however, you might try asking for access with a neutral party as a mediator to allow access and assure peace.
Please note, do not construe this as specific legal advice applicable directly to your situation. The response is based upon general principals of law within the state of Missouri. To obtain an opinion upon which you can relay, contact an attorney in your jurisdiction whose practice focuses on domestic relations law.
If your name is on the deed, then the house is legally (at least partially) yours. You have a right to enter. If there is a court order preventing you from entering the house, i.e. an adult abuse order, then you may not enter so long as that order is in effect. Absent that, you can proceed as any owner who has been inadvertently locked out of his/her own home. However, be thoughtful about what additional problems this may cause, and whether getting into the home is worth the escalation of the conflict that is sure to follow. Please check with an attorney in your county of residence for a discussion that involves more of the specific details of your case.
The specific facts are different in each individual case, my response it provided for general, informational purposes only and should be be construed as specific advice directed to any individual person. Since I have not had the opportunity to review all the specific facts, and any supporting or explanatory documents in this matter, this general opinion should be be relied upon in your specific case. This communication is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any specific person, and should not be construed to create an attorney client relationship by any individual.
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