Can you Change the Locks on the House?
If you are an owner or co-owner of a home, it may be very sensible for you to change the locks on the home if your partner has already moved out and you do not want them moving back in. But the question is, can you?
The Answer is – yes.
If you are a tenant you should not change the locks without the agreement of the landlord.
Changing the locks can be a way of ensuring your own privacy and protection post-separation however it is not an ideal tactic for trying to get a spouse to move out. For getting a spouse to move out of a property you may need to look at a Domestic Violence ouster order or a Family Court order for ‘exclusive use’ of the home. It is important that you obtain independent legal advice from an experienced family law solicitor prior to changing the locks, as every circumstance is different.
The most appropriate course will depend on a number of factors including, both parties’ financial circumstances, personal safety and availability of alternate interim accommodation etc.
If you are looking at separating or are currently going through a separation we recommend that you seek professional legal advice immediately. Call us today on (07) 3221 4300 for a no obligation initial fixed-price appointment.