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Locking spouse out from jointly owned house & vehicles

Sylvania, OH |

My sisterinlaw has been staying at her sister's house for about 6 weeks. She's gone home (jointly owned) sometimes when her husband isn't there. Her husband has now changed all the locks on the house. He also came and took their jointly owned vehicle (which is still being paid for by her money) without her knowledge & locked it up in their garage and changed the opener codes. They've been married 10 years. He also withdrew half their savings account. He says he is selling the vehicle and keeping the money. Can he legally do any of this or is she entitled to access to their home & vehicle. No special circumstances on her staying at her sister's other than "not happy in her marriage".

Can she use her own set of keys to the vehicle and take it back if it is parked outside?

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Attorney answers 2


Strongly suggest she see a family lawyer immediately. He has the basis for suing for divorce based on abandonment. What he does with assets held jointly is legal. The rest may very well not be, but she needs eithter a restraining order and/or a order to show cause, because what he is doing is a form of spousal abuse.

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Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information.


See a family lawyer right away.