Spouse Has Moved Out – Can I Change the Locks?

Question:jason bowman attorney kentucky

My spouse moved out of the home 90 days ago and has not returned.

Both of our names are on the title to the house. She stated that she will not be returning.

Can I change the locks without any legal repercussions?


I do not practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general tips on divorce.

This is a question that I get from clients all the time in cases, especially when one spouse moves out of the home. I always ask my clients if they had the ability to change the locks before the spouse moved out. The answer is always the same – of course, they had that ability.

It is just that now, since there is a divorce, people tend to think that the right to change locks has changed. Yet, everyone who owns a home generally has the right to change his or her locks.

The real question is, do you have a right to keep her out of the home? That answer can depend, based on the laws of your state and how you want to be perceived by the court.

I usually advise clients that they should document everything that they have in the home with pictures or a list. Then, they can ask the court to grant sole and exclusive use of the residence, especially if the spouse has not lived there for an extended period of time.

Before you take any action, however, you should consult with an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Kentucky divorce lawyer Jason Bowman, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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