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My husband left me a week ago. I am now living alone in the house which is under
his name. I dont know what legal rights I have. Can I change the locks or can I
not? what legal claim if any do I have on the house if I am legally married to

Asked on June 28, 2016 under Family Law, New Jersey


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Whatever rights you may have to the house will be up for a court to decide. In the meantime, until there is a final decree of divorce or a formal separation agreement in effect that address who does/doesn't have the right to occupy the house, it is still considered to be the "joint marital residence" no matter whose name that the deed is in. Accordingly, you cannot change the locks at this time, even if your husband has already left. At this point, you really should consult directly with a local divorce attorney in your area; they can best advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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