My step-father is having an affair. My mother has asked him to either tell his mistress he will never see her again OR move out. He refuses to do either. No decision has been made regarding whether to stay married or get a divorce. The immediate question is about whether my mother can force him to move out. He refuses, stating that the house is just as much his at it is my mother's.
My question is: what are my mother's legal rights? Can she legally force him to move out? If she puts his clothes out on the curb and changes the locks, is the law behind her? Does she need to get court approval before kicking him out? Do they need to be legally separated first?
Your mother should not take any actions before she speaks with an attorney.
Your mother does not have the right to place her husband's belongings in the street and change the locks. Her husband is right that he has as much right to the house as she does. She may have the right to immediately file for divorce, even though they are not separated. There are other options available. You mother should speak with an attorney about the best to approach the situation.
Please be advised that any information or advice given herein does not constitute an attorney client relationship. Further, before taking any actions or deciding not to take any actions, you should seek counsel of an attorney. This forum cannot provide you with the anyalysis and detail necessary for a full and accurate opinion to be rendered.
She should contact a reputable Family Law in her area to discuss her legal options.
Otherwise, she should understand that she really has NO RIGHT to throw her husband out of a home he jointly owns or to damage or destroy any of his property. The law is NOT behind in this sort of self-help, and her actions can actually open her up to some serious legal trouble FOR HER.
That being said, a skilled Family Law attorney can seek move-out orders pending a divorce or separation, but these motions need to be made entirely through the courts and her attorney, and not by herself.
Attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice within the bounds of a professional relationship. It is always best to seek counsel with a competent attorney experienced in your area of issue and fully informed about the facts of your case.
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