If my wife and and I are separated and she has moved out, canshe still have access to our house and my car?

UPDATED: Dec 25, 2011

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If my wife and and I are separated and she has moved out, canshe still have access to our house and my car?

My wife and I are separated but nothing is filed in court. She still comes into our house anytime she wants and sometimes gets my car. She has her own place now with a lease in the nearby town.

Asked on December 25, 2011 under Family Law, Indiana


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately for you, yes she can come and go, even if she has a new residence. The reason is that she still has equal rights of possession and use of the marital residence until: a final decree of divorce has been granted or there is a separation and/or court order to the contrary. This is basically true no matter how long it has been since she left. It is also true no matter whose name the deed (or lease) is in. Also, a rightful occupant cannot be arrested for trespassing.

At this point, you should formalize your arrangement by seeking a legal separation and lay out who is to have exclusive use of the premises.

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