Changing the locks on the house


My wife is having an affair with an old friend of hers before we were married. She is still seeing this man. Can I change the locks on our house to keep her from moving things out or the man from coming in? She is still living in the house but not on weekends.


Your wife is allowed into the residence until she establishes a new residence. Simply leaving on the weekends is not enough to show that she has established a new residence. Once she has a new residence you can change the locks and she could be charged with domestic criminal trespass.

NCGS 14‑134.3. Domestic crimnal trespass.

(a) Any person who enters after being forbidden to do so or remains after being ordered to leave by the lawful occupant, upon the premises occupied by a present or former spouse or by a person with whom the person charged has lived as if married, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if the complainant and the person charged are living apart; provided, however, that no person shall be guilty if said person enters upon the premises pursuant to a judicial order or written separation agreement which gives the person the right to enter upon said premises for the purpose of visiting with minor children. Evidence that the parties are living apart shall include but is not necessarily limited to:

(1) A judicial order of separation;
(2) A court order directing the person charged to stay away from the premises occupied by the complainant;
(3) An agreement, whether verbal or written, between the complainant and the person charged that they shall live separate and apart, and such parties are in fact living separate and apart; or
(4) Separate places of residence for the complainant and the person charged.
Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, upon conviction, said person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
(b) A person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a Class G felony if the person is trespassing upon property operated as a safe house or haven for victims of domestic violence and the person is armed with a deadly weapon at the time of the offense. (1979, c. 561, s. 2; 1993, c. 539, s. 76; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14©; 1998‑212, s. 17.19(a).)