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Access to the matrimonial home

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  • Access to the matrimonial home

    My H and I are separated. He has been living in his own residence since the beginning of July. He has signed an agreement which has been witnessed by both lawyers saying he is not to enter the home when I am not here and that I must be given 24 hours notice. He is now demanding keys to the house and my lawyer has advised me not to give them to him. I worry though that I am somehow breaking the law by not giving him keys to our house, even though he has moved out and has agreed not to come in without me here. Help!

  • #2
    Sorry, I don't know the law in this case.

    However I would not give him the keys. He made an agreement and both of you need to agree if there is to be a change, so if you don't want to change it (and I don't know why you would want him to have access to your house), then don't give him keys - it is his problem as he agreed.

    Do you have kids? Have you separated all things in the house to BOTH of your satifaction? Why does he want a key to a house that he will never live in again?


    • #3
      I agree with Bill. If he has moved all of his things out then he has no reason to access YOUR home. He has his own home now. I am assuming you changed the locks, otherwise he would have a key. If you had a reason to chnge the lock, DON't give him a key.

      I can't see why the law would give him a right to have keys to someone else's home, otherwise one of your lawyers would have told you before you signed.


      • #4
        Hi.. yes we have kids. I am still living here with them for now, but child sharing arrangements have been made. He has removed most of his personal belongings and the rest here needs to remain to show the house until it is sold.

        He is arguing that he is entitled to enter this house because he is half owner and "paid for most of it"... I had to change the front locks because the old ones were old and ratty and the other was broken. I do not see why I should allow him in here when I am gone. He has already broken this agreement by sneaking in through a window while I was away.

        My issue is that perhaps I am not legally entitled to lock him out. That because his name IS on the deed, he can still come and go as he pleases. (Although I have been advised I am NOT welcome to enter his home at any time... )


        • #5
          I understand your desire to not have in the house, but to be reasonable, perhaps you have to look at it from his point of view. It was his home, his kids still live there, some of his stuff is still there, and you are planning on selling it and not keeping it yourself. He has only been out a couple of weeks, there must be quite a lot of things that both you would consider his that he might still want etc.

          Although you may not like the idea, the houe is really not a settled issue.

          If it is something you need, or you can't trust his intentions, then the 24 hour notice may be reasonble, but otherwise, try to see from his point of view that it still feels like his house, he does in fact have ownership in it. And going in through a window is not sneaking, but just getting in to get something of his, from his house....

          You need to feel secure etc, but maybe this is not something worth pursing given that the house is for sale anyway. Maybe you should resolve the remaining items in the house and get every last thing of his out so there is truly no reason for him to enter.

          Also, as a side note I am considering asking my former spouse for a key to her place (and give her mine), as it is a bit of pain when the kids need something from the house while with the other parent.
          Last edited by billm; 07-23-2009, 05:10 PM.


          • #6
            Actualy sharing of keys between the parents works very very well in my case of shared cstody where the children are constanly forgetting something or another, BUT it took a lot of time to rebuild the trust in each other and never would have happened right after our seperation. The 24 hour deal seems reasonable given the circumstances right now but I also see his side probably feeling like it is still his home.


            • #7
              I did not have an issue with him coming here until he broke in through the window and left the front door unlocked. The last time, he rifled through all the drawers, taking papers, and he has stolen my diaries and other sentimental items of mine. I trust him about as far as I can throw him and even though it is still his house, I do not think he is entitled to come whenever he feels like it. Every time he does, something goes missing and is locked up in "HIS" house. I don't think it's fair.

              Also he is threatening me that if I do not comply, he will drag this all through the lawyers and use up all of our money. I think at this point, it is the principle of the thing. I am tired of his bullying and scare tactics.


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