Dear Raleigh, NC:
My answer is yes, you can lock her out, but she could simply go to the Sheriff’s office, tell them that you are married and she is living there, and they will help her to get back in. The best option is to go to an attorney, work up a separation agreement, and negotiate while she is still in the home. I know that the situation will be uncomfortable, but other than filing for litigation, locking her out is not a solution.
If you do lock her out, it may be construed as abandonment, which is a marital fault.
If you do decide to lock her out, and she obtains a new domicile, you may want to inform her not to return to your home or she will be committing domestic criminal trespass, which is a criminal matter. Best of luck!
Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.