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I am 15 years married , my wife left me alone , she abandoned the house ,
changed her postal address .
The house is in both of our names and totally paid of .
Can I change the locks ??
What are my rights here .
Asked on December 28, 2016 under Family Law, Pennsylvania
M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 6 years ago | Contributor
Unless there is a formal separation agreemnt in effect or a final decree of divorce has been issued, then the property remains as the "joint marital residence". This means that both you and your spouse have the right to occupy it, no matter whose name or names is on the deed. That having been said, if she has indeed abandoned the property, you may be able to go to court to obtain sole rights to occupancy of the house. However, until you do, you cannot lock your ex out.
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