Marital residence question


#1

I moved out of my home in August 2010. Spouse and I were married in 2006. The house is in my name only, the mortgage is in my name only, and I purchased it two years before we were married; she contributed no money to the purchase.

Many of my personal items (furniture, etc.) that were given to me or purchased by me before the date of marriage still remain at the property, as I haven’t had room to store them anywhere else. I am moving this week to a new rental house, and out of my apartment I’ve been in since date of separation, and now have room for some of this stuff. Spouse is on a “vacation” - she doesn’t work.

As a courtesy, I let her know three days in advance I planned to go into the house/garage/attic and get some of this stuff that is indisputably my property. Her attorney and she claim that I have to have my spouse’s permission to re-enter the property since I established a new and separate residence.

Is it true that I am not permitted to re-enter my own home, one that is solely in my name that she has no financial interest in (it has declined in total value since the date of purchase), that she isn’t paying for at all, to retrieve my own separate property, without her permission?


#2

Yes, her attorney is correct. Once you move out of the marital residence with the intention of separating, the remaining spouse is free to change the locks. Also, you could be charged with domestic criminal trespass if you attempt to come onto the property without her express permission. Since she has already had her attorney warn you, I would take this seriously. I would not recommend you go onto the property whatsoever without express written permission by her that you can do so. If she refuses you all access, your option is to file for equitable distribution and you can then file a motion for the interim distribution of property to have a judge order the return of your personal property while the main ED claim is pending. Good luck to you.