Can My Wife Kick Me Out By Changing The Locks?

marital homeQuestion:

My wife has forced me out of the home we own together by changing the locks and security codes.

Can she still make me pay half of the mortgage payments until the house is sold? Does she have the right to force me out in this way?

Answer: 

Please be advised that I am barred in Pennsylvania and will answer your question based on my expertise and experience in Pennsylvania.

In this state, a party cannot force the other party out of the marital residence unless there is a restraining order in place or the court grants exclusive possession of the marital residence to one of the parties pending the divorce.

If a party changes the locks to the marital residence, unless there is such a court order in place, the other party can call the police to be let back into the marital residence.

In Pennsylvania, the party who remains in the marital residence is solely responsible for payment of all bills associated with the marital residence, unless the court orders otherwise. Here, in general, the court will not look at who paid the mortgage payments, but rather how much equity there is to be divided at time of equitable distribution.

You should schedule an initial consultation with an attorney barred in your state at the earliest opportunity to discuss the facts of your case and your options for relief further.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Jaimie Collins, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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