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changing the locks

  • sexysadie
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14 Dec 07 #9067 by sexysadie
Topic started by sexysadie
Can anyone tell me the legal position on changing the locks of the FMH once one partner has moved out? I really don't want to live with the worry that he can walk in on me and the children at any time.

Sadie

  • attilladahun
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15 Dec 07 #9071 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
If the house is jointly owned technically you should not change the locks....but lets be practical about things.

Far better to do so and risk a minor rebuke from H or his solr when the benefits are peace of mind. In 30+ years of practice as a solicitor I have NEVER seen a client punished for such actions.

Cheaper than seeking an Occupation order :)

May I suggest though that before doing so you consider playing with a straight bat and invite H:

[a] to agree what contents he wants now (usually his personal possessions as the home should remain furnished so the C are not disrupted) so his need to come to the FMH is likely reduced

Politely point out that if he wants to visit to collect further items that are agreed, you will endeavour to co-operate and in return as a matter of courtesy could he give you at least 48 hrs notice say by text of his intention to call. Then if necessary you can have a relative or friend present to ensure there is no nonsense from H.

Abusers like to "control"; he may feel that by changing the locks you are controling him for once!! If he feels though you are treating him fairly by ensuring inconvenience is not caused hopefully he will not kick off.

Remember always send texts/letters/e mails to your spouse which are neutral, businesslike and do not cause offence. If ultimately he kicks off and you seek the discretionary orders of the Court for an Occupation and/or non molestation and the District Judge sees you have sent reasonable communications to your spouse to sort the issue out and what you are doing is proportionate - and his actions are unreasonable then you will be in a better position to advance your position/case and get the order/relief you seek.

Hope that helps Sadie

:)

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15 Dec 07 #9072 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
If the house is jointly owned technically you should not change the locks....but lets be practical about things.

Far better to do so and risk a minor rebuke from H or his solr when the benefits are peace of mind. In 30+ years of practice as a solicitor I have NEVER seen a client punished for such actions.

Cheaper than seeking an Occupation order :)

May I suggest though that before doing so you consider playing with a straight bat and invite H:

[a] to agree what contents he wants now (usually his personal possessions as the home should remain furnished so the C are not disrupted) so his need to come to the FMH is likely reduced

Politely point out that if he wants to visit to collect further items that are agreed, you will endeavour to co-operate and in return as a matter of courtesy could he give you at least 48 hrs notice say by text of his intention to call. Then if necessary you can have a relative or friend present to ensure there is no nonsense from H.

Abusers like to "control"; he may feel that by changing the locks you are controling him for once!! If he feels though you are treating him fairly by ensuring inconvenience is not caused hopefully he will not kick off.

Remember always send texts/letters/e mails to your spouse which are neutral, businesslike and do not cause offence. If ultimately he kicks off and you seek the discretionary orders of the Court for an Occupation and/or non molestation and the District Judge sees you have sent reasonable communications to your spouse to sort the issue out and what you are doing is proportionate - and his actions are unreasonable then you will be in a better position to advance your position/case and get the order/relief you seek.

Hope that helps Sadie

:)

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15 Dec 07 #9073 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
If the house is jointly owned technically you should not change the locks....but lets be practical about things.

Far better to do so and risk a minor rebuke from H or his solr when the benefits are peace of mind. In 30+ years of practice as a solicitor I have NEVER seen a client punished for such actions.

Cheaper than seeking an Occupation order :)

May I suggest though that before doing so you consider playing with a straight bat and invite H:

[a] to agree what contents he wants now (usually his personal possessions as the home should remain furnished so the C are not disrupted) so his need to come to the FMH is likely reduced

Politely point out that if he wants to visit to collect further items that are agreed, you will endeavour to co-operate and in return as a matter of courtesy could he give you at least 48 hrs notice say by text of his intention to call. Then if necessary you can have a relative or friend present to ensure there is no nonsense from H.

Abusers like to "control"; he may feel that by changing the locks you are controling him for once!! If he feels though you are treating him fairly by ensuring inconvenience is not caused hopefully he will not kick off.

Remember always send texts/letters/e mails to your spouse which are neutral, businesslike and do not cause offence. If ultimately he kicks off and you seek the discretionary orders of the Court for an Occupation and/or non molestation and the District Judge sees you have sent reasonable communications to your spouse to sort the issue out and what you are doing is proportionate - and his actions are unreasonable then you will be in a better position to advance your position/case and get the order/relief you seek.

Hope that helps Sadie

:)

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15 Dec 07 #9074 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
If the house is jointly owned technically you should not change the locks....but lets be practical about things.

Far better to do so and risk a minor rebuke from H or his solr when the benefits are peace of mind. In 30+ years of practice as a solicitor I have NEVER seen a client punished for such actions.

Cheaper than seeking an Occupation order :)

May I suggest though that before doing so you consider playing with a straight bat and invite H:

[a] to agree what contents he wants now (usually his personal possessions as the home should remain furnished so the C are not disrupted) so his need to come to the FMH is likely reduced

Politely point out that if he wants to visit to collect further items that are agreed, you will endeavour to co-operate and in return as a matter of courtesy could he give you at least 48 hrs notice say by text of his intention to call. Then if necessary you can have a relative or friend present to ensure there is no nonsense from H.

Abusers like to "control"; he may feel that by changing the locks you are controling him for once!! If he feels though you are treating him fairly by ensuring inconvenience is not caused hopefully he will not kick off.

Remember always send texts/letters/e mails to your spouse which are neutral, businesslike and do not cause offence. If ultimately he kicks off and you seek the discretionary orders of the Court for an Occupation and/or non molestation and the District Judge sees you have sent reasonable communications to your spouse to sort the issue out and what you are doing is proportionate - and his actions are unreasonable then you will be in a better position to advance your position/case and get the order/relief you seek.

Hope that helps Sadie

:)

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15 Dec 07 #9077 by sexysadie
Reply from sexysadie
Thanks, Attilla, that's very helpful.

My husband has actually been gone more than nine months now. However, as he is living in temporary accommodation until we settle (not anytime soon as far as I can tell as he is very slow to respond even to his solicitor, let alone mine) I am still storing a lot of his posessions.

I have no problem with him coming to the house by arrangement and have also taken things to him at his request when dropping off our son. When he first moved out he did come a couple of times, agreed in advance, to pick things up but he clearly didn't like doing it when I was there and I don't like him doing it when I'm not, as it gives me no privacy. Last summer I took all my divorce paperwork on holiday with me in case he came in and went through it and I don't want to be doing that for years.

What I find really difficult, though, is coming home from work and realising that he's been here, as well as the possibility that he may just walk in at any time, particularly if he thinks we will be out. So if you think I can get away with it I will call the locksmith on Monday.

Best wishes,

Sadie

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15 Dec 07 #9079 by scottishlady
Reply from scottishlady
Sadie....
If it's of any help to you.... my sol told me that although the 'former matrimonial home' is in my STBX's name only... she doubted whether there would be a court/judge that would condemn me if I changed the locks on the 'home' after he walked away....
I therefore went ahead and did so..... and although my STBX was somewhat cheesed off at the fact (when he tried to enter the house while I was out) I have had no repercussions (so far) re my actions....

Kindest Regards
SL
:)

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