How to respond if locked out of home?


#1

Hubby of 23 years says marriage vows are too restrictive. He’s asked me many times to leave but I have not. This week he has a visiting relative in our home who is a very bad influence on hubby so I decided to go to a hotel for the 4 days that the relative is in my home. After the relative leaves, when I return home, how should I respond if I find that my husband has changed the door locks and I cannot get back in my home? Knowing him, that’s a trick he might pull on me. Thanks for responding.

Editing to add that I am leaning toward filing for divorce from bed and board at this time since I would be able to stay in our home and he would be forced to leave our residence. I understand divorce from b&b is not a marital divorce and we would still be husband and wife but that’s fine, I’ll turn it into an absolute divorce down the road if I feel like that’s what I want at that future time. That’s not really what I want right now.


#2

If you leave the residence and begin living somewhere else he can change the locks and forbid you to come back to the residence. If you leave only on a temporary basis, the outcome is not always so clear. If he changes the locks and told you not to come back, your only option might be to go to court and ask the court to order him to let you back in.

Regarding a divorce from bed and board, be aware that you will need to prove your husband committed a marital fault (such as cruelty, habitual drunkeness, adultery) to obtain one. Additonally, this may not prove to be the best option for you since it can take six months for such a case to be completed, and even then the judge doesn’t have to order the offending spouse out of the home. All it is guaranteed to do, if you are granted one, is to cut off certain marital estate rights.

It might be better/more efficient for you to move out, even if you have to stay with someone temporarily, and file for post-separation support in the meantime, assuming you qualify as a dependent spouse. If you aren’t a dependent spouse, I would recommend not leaving and trying to draft a separation agreement that you both can sign. Once you have an agreement in place, you can move out and become separated.


#3

Since I have recorded a conversation where I objected to the derelict relative visiting, and hubby said if I don’t like it I should go while the relative is here, I don’t think I can be permanently put out of my house for this 4 day hotel stay. It was hubby’s suggestion to me.

I believe I can prove cruelty on his part since I also have recorded him explaining to me that he is purposely acting out in an intolerable way so I will make the decision to leave him. He explained that that is the reason why he told me he sleeps with other women, and the reason why he decided to fly to Vegas by himself spur of the moment (which he did do). I have recorded that all on tape.

I’m aware that “turning out of doors” is one of the criteria that can be used for filing a divorce from bed and board and I am wondering what the proper way to handle it is if it happens that he changes the locks. Do I call the police? Is it necessary?

Editing to add that I am favoring legal separation via div from bed and board over absolute divorce for the following reasons:

  1. Hubby wants to drive me from our home because his sister lives next door and so he wants to stay here, near his family, without me. A divorce from bed and board would result in his eviction, essentially, right? That’s exactly what he doesn’t want and what I would prefer.

  2. Hubby wants to have a clearer conscience about being a playboy so would feel more comfortable if he didn’t have a wife anymore. A divorce from bed and board does not dissolve the marriage, so he will still have a wife. That’s exactly what he doesn’t want and what I would prefer. My kids look just like him and I’ve always regarded him as my life partner for 20+ years and I honestly don’t want to be divorced from him even though he is hurting me like this. Putting him under legal stress (that a divorce from b&b would cause) that is a result of his own bad behavior would be good for him.

  3. My parents are very wealthy and I seem to be in line for receiving a very large inheritance. A divorce from b&b would protect my inheritance from him, right?

By the way, to answer previous post, I’m not really a dependent spouse, I work full time and earned more than hubby did last year.


#4

If he changes the locks when you leave and refuses to allow you in, then no, I do not recommend you call the police. If you do, it is very likely that you will be the one arrested, for Domestic Criminal Trespass. If this happens, instead you should immediately get a court order. One other thing to keep in mind is when separation begins, whether its from divorce from b&b or one of you simply moves out, either of you can file for an absolute divorce one year and one day later. So, if he wants a divorce, he will get one a little over a year later. Regarding your inheritance, your husband will have no access to that in the event of your separation or divorce. That is separate property and is not considered as a part of the marital estate. Whether you inherit money before or after separation, he will not have an interest in it. Keep in mind too what I mentioned earlier about a divorce form b&b, it takes about 6 months to obtain one, and even if you do, he may not be ordered out of the house.


#5

So hubby flew off to Vegas the end of July. He came back for 5 days mid August to pay some bills and get fresh clothes, etc., then left again. Now he’s returned with his cousin who forwards him internet porn daily and has participated with him in the past in illicit behavior I won’t name.

Now, since I stayed in a hotel for 4 or 5 days to preserve my own sanity by avoiding this cousin, I am the one the police would arrest.

That’s depressing.


#6

Yes, you are in an unenviable position. I would recommend trying to work out an agreement ASAP, and then you can move out. If it is completely intolerable, you should move out while working on a separation agreement.