Spending Time Away From Residence


#1

Spouse spends at least 2-7 nights away from home weekly and there is evidence that she lies about where she is going. There is no contact while she is away.
Is this grounds for cohabitation? What happens if locks are changed while she is gone? On several ocassions, spouse has been told not to return when she is leaving the residence.


#2

Cohabitation doesn’t apply if you’re still married. Maybe you mean proof of an affair?

I’m not a lawyer but I believe you shouldn’t change the locks unless it was her intent to not return to the marital residence. If you want her to leave, then I would contact an attorney who can help you further.


#3

Cohabitation is a term that is used to determine when and if alimony should stop. If you are trying to prove if adultery is occurring, facts such as these can be used to prove opportunity and inclination.

I take it that when you say, “what happens if locks are changed while she is gone?” you are asking if you can change the locks while s youc an’t he is gone. Yes, you can change the locks, but that doesn’t mean that a law enforcement officer won’t assist her in getting back into the residence. You can refer to the domestic criminal statute for more information.

§ 14‑134.3. Domestic criminal 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).)