Husband and Wife separate. Husband moves out. Wife, a stay at home mother, remains home with the children.
Can Wife change the locks?
Can Husband move back home even after moving out?
How can Wife keep Husband out of the home?
The answers to these questions depend on whether Wife has “exclusive use and possession” of the marital home.
What is Exclusive Use and Possession?
Exclusive use and possession is a legal phrase used to identify the person who has the right to live in and control the marital residence. During the marriage, both parties have a right to come and go from the marital residence as they please. After the parties separate, the right to enter and leave the marital residence still belongs to both parties equally unless a court order is signed that gives one party exclusive use over the other.
If granted exclusive use and possession of the marital residence, the party can change the locks, disallow the other from entering the property and prevent any moving back in that might otherwise occur. The challenge is obtaining such an order.