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changing the locks

  • WornOut
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16 Dec 07 #9112 by WornOut
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I left the ex in the FMH four years ago, with an agreement that it would be put on the market 1.5 years later. Since I filed for divorce two years ago he has done everything to obstruct the divorce process, including actively preventing the fmh from being sold.

My solicitor first advised that, as I am joint owner, I should take possession of the property and market it myself. This was impossible because the ex had conned me out of my keys a few weeks after I left.

Her second approach was to 'remind' me that, as the owner, I could break into my own property and take possession. I elected not to do this, as the door and window security was selected to stop people from breaking in. I would have made a hell of a mess and I didn't have the finances to have the damage repaired.

I received what I would term a 'flexing his muscles' letter through my solicitor via the ex's solicitor. I was asked for an assurance that I would not enter the property without giving the ex 48 hours notice. My solicitor advised me that it was reasonable for the ex to expect notice from me, if I was going to do so.

I laughed at the ironic and unnecessary request; I have never been within 5 miles of the fmh since I left and have spent most of the past 2 years on the other side of the globe (and the ex knows it); how could I enter the property without the keys? I would hardly give him notice, if I was going to break in!!!

Sadie, it seems to me that, if you do change the locks, your x2B will be in a similar position to me; he doesn't have a key to get in with, so he can choose to 'live' with the fact, or he can exercise his right and break in.

In your shoes, to deter him from breaking in, I would make sure that the replacement locks are a major obstacle.

  • Jacko
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16 Dec 07 #9119 by Jacko
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I should have put this in my first post. with everything else that's been going on I forgot about it. A situation no doubts a lot of you find yourselves in.

My wife moved out of the FMH in 2005 for 6 months. Whilst I was away on a trip she had the locks changed. When I returned I couldn't get in! Much to my amazement she was waiting in the house as I went to leave she opened the door. There was then a major row on the doorstep. I called on my neighbors to witness the event. She wasn't prepared to give me a key so I decide to leave. As I reversed my car away she opened the door which I tried to pull shut again. the door caught her!

Off I went to my brothers the following morning my neighbors called to say the police were at my doorstep and that they had also been banging on my door a 2:00 AM. They told the police on both occasions that I wasn't there as I couldn't get in and why.

by chance I had an appointment with my sol the next day. All he said was ask for a key and you are going to get arrested! indeed thats what happened. She had made a complaint about the car door hitting her so I got questioned under caution.

The fact she had the locks changed even though she wasn't living in the FMH didn't seem to be an issue to any one but me!! I did eventually get a key.:woohoo:

  • Puzzled01
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18 Dec 07 #9210 by Puzzled01
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Hi Sadie
I changed the locks on our home 2 days after he left me. My sol said technically I wasn't allowed to but that as long as she 'didn't know that I had done it' she strongly recommended it. So I did. It made me feel a lot better.
If it makes you feel safer, I'd go ahead and do it.
Best wishes.

  • rkowski
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18 Dec 07 #9215 by rkowski
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may i make a suggestion to people living in the marrital home - i was in court yesterday and my stbx had an occupation order ruled against me - it cost me £450 she has legal aid - i didnt dispute it i had never refused to move out she had issued because she wants to screw me into the ground - i have never been vilent to her or the children and love them all - she had been messing around ! any way..... my suggestion is this ...why change the locks when the other party who jointly owns the home can break in , why waste money on an occupation order when it lasts for 6 months then u r back to square 1 , people need to remember that the person who leaves the home still have a vested interest in the home and as long as they are not violent or abusive then they should be entitled to visit their home as and when they please, those people who object to this clearly have something to hide which could threaten their position - (i am only talking from my experience i have never been violent!) I now have to call before i visit - how can i suprise my children #? - do me a favour people -start telling the truth and face facts - we all have selfish needs but i seriously believe that 85% + of men and women are greedy selfish individuals - if we were honest with each other there would be no such thing as occupation orders - OK he/she should let you know out of curtusy that they are attending the fmh when u are not there , but as for coming and knocking on the door - why not ask him /her politely to call before they visit just to respect your privacy - if they ignore this request then ok take action if they do listen mission accomplished

  • scottishlady
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18 Dec 07 #9226 by scottishlady
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I am one of 'those people' who changed the locks to the marital home.... but I can assure you, I have absolutely NOTHING to hide!!!!
Nor is there anything that could 'threaten my position'.....
The reason I changed the locks, is because my husband walked out the door one day.... haven't laid eyes on him since.... no discussion, no explanation....
Now, I am well aware of the legal position regarding my STBX's 'rights' re the house.... however, I felt for my own sanity and peace of mind, it would be preferable if he couldn't just walk back in if and when it pleased him...
It turns out that he did actually try to gain access on one occasion... while I was out ofcourse....
Now.... as he has given no financial support to myself our our (grown up) daughter since he left, I was concerned that he may 'clear' the house of all our posessions... and that played a part in my decision... because, although I am working two jobs to pay bills, put food on the table etc, it would be impossible for me to replace necessary items should he decide to 'take them'.... and as he is enjoying a new life with the woman with whom he was having an affair I don't believe he has a 'need' for any of our things at the moment...
I am also a great believer in honesty and integrity... good manners, and if it is possible for people to behave with such qualities, I applaud them.... but one has to be aware that some people are quite often not given the choice... therefore do what they believe is best for them personally, at that particular time....

  • soulmanuk
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18 Dec 07 #9230 by soulmanuk
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i did the same as you scottish lady. my wife walked out on me and kids, she didnt give an explination, i have only seen her 3 times in 14 months, she is living with her new partner( who as threatened me several times)he run off with his and his wife life savings to buy an house for the two of them to live in. i too am struggling to make ends meet and have had no financial help or co operation from her. she too did come to the house when i was at work probably to clean out the house. she can have what ever she wants but only asked through her sol for her wedding dress(20years old) and a sewing machine. i cant afford to replace things that could have been taken. it as now got to a point where we are facing repossession, i have asked for help off her and she told me to f*** off and get on with my life. the nisi is due on 18th jan, i have made a financial application all this as to be paid for cos of a cock up at the legal aid which i am still waiting to hear about my appeal. i have been to see mortgage company to see if i can borrow to help clear everything up but i can get what i need so me and kids are going to be homeless, so getting hassled about changing the locks is the least of my worries and if she wants to waste money sending sol letters more fool her

  • Jacko
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18 Dec 07 #9236 by Jacko
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Whilst I can see were your coming from and changing the locks to a jointly owned property is always likely to cause a lot of bad feeling maybe it's not always such a bad thing.

You may not be able to enter into your own house but on the other hand as long as you don't break in you can't be accussed of entering univited or even taking things! I think you are trying to take a rational approach. Unfourtunatley divorce is a very stressful place to be! and we aren't always very rational in such situations.

I've been in both situations she moved out came round and changed the locks so I couldn't get in and now I've moved out she has changed the locks again! though I have no desire to return. It's now cost her hundreds £'s in lock changes.

I don't think anyone is going to like being in a house knowing their ex partner can enter any time they like. Even if they do give prior notice. I don't think anyone renting a house would like the landlord dropping in for a spot check unannounced same sort of difference.

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