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Can I change the locks on the FMH?

  • JanMK16
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20 Mar 12 #319159 by JanMK16
Topic started by JanMK16
By stbx has been coming into the FMH which I am living in and taken not just some of his things but things which belong to both of us. He has done this with no prior warning or communication at all to me about his intentions - in fact refuses to talk to me at all. I know he has gone through my personal stuff as well and I have now had to resort to locking this in a filing cabinet and taking my laptop etc. to work with me. I feel that by doing this I have stooped to his level but I need to protect my interests. I am not disputing that he jointly owns the home with me but I am beginning to feel more and more unsafe in the house, knowing that he and several others in his family have keys. I have also had conflicting answers from legal eagles about changing the locks so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Fiona
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20 Mar 12 #319163 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
HOw long is it since he moved out? Strictly speaking it is illegal to change the locks. Your husband has the same rights to access the former matrimonial home as you do. However, those rights have to be balanced against your rights to privacy and a family life. If he moved out sometime ago the FMH is no longer his home and if you changed the locks it would difficult for him to justify being there. IT would be reasonable for him to gain access at mutually agreed times to collect his possessions.

  • vivi36
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20 Mar 12 #319170 by vivi36
Reply from vivi36
I had the same problem. Fiona is right, it''s his house so he can come and go as he pleases. I was also advised that if I changed the lock and he decided to break a window then there was nothing I could do as it is his window.
I confronted my x (which did result in the police being called) I demanded a spare key to his rented accomadation as it was being paid for out of the martital pot. I always referred to the FMH as my ''home'' never my ''house''. Cos I''m quite head strong (and an idiot) I also went to his gf''s house and requested her a spare to her house too (god only knows why I did that) it did cause a few words between them and I think she reigned him in abit.
After all that I broke the lock. Told him that if he wanted access then he could pay for the locksmith to come out. I knew he didn''t have a back door key so have spent the last few years using that.
When I was Absolute that was my treat.....a new front door key!
Do you have a solicitor? Ask for a mutually convienent time for him to come and remove his items then request 48 hours notice for him to inspect your home in future.


  • Marshy_
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20 Mar 12 #319172 by Marshy_
Reply from Marshy_
What some people do is ummm lose their keys. Nothing wrong with that. People lose them all the time. And of course if you lose the keys, you have to change the lock. Again nothing wrong with that. The only downside to this is that he can request a key. U could give him the wrong key. Or a key thats umm damaged. But ultimately, you will have to give him a working key. There is no way round this. C.

  • Beagles
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20 Mar 12 #319179 by Beagles
Reply from Beagles
I was fortunate as the judge ordered him out the house and he had to give me notice to come to into the house and then only by agreement. Therefore if he tried to use the key he had and found it not to work it meant he had breached the order... So against legal advice I changed all the locks so I felt safe. I wouldn''t have slept otherwise knowing he could get in un-announced. I figured I''d have to give him a key if it came down to it but it never did.

  • mumtoboys
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20 Mar 12 #319187 by mumtoboys
Reply from mumtoboys
I put up with my mail being opened, un-flushed toilet, dipping into the children''s treat box...for about 3 months at which point I added a lock and demanded a key to the house that the ex was living in (which was jointly owned). Nothing more was ever said about it.

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