Can My Wife Kick Me Out Of The House And Change The Locks?

Ask a Lawyer


Can my wife kick me out of the house and change the locks if my name isn’t on the mortgage?

We have been together for 12 years and married for nine.

Virginia divorce attorney Rebecca DeVincent


Whether your name is on the mortgage or not does not matter — the mortgage just means who is responsible for making the monthly mortgage payments to the lender.

What does matter is which party’s name is on the deed to the home. The deed is the legal document that states who owns the property.

If your name is on the deed to the home, you are legally allowed to be in the house and she cannot kick you out.

In Virginia, where I practice, if your name is on the deed to the home and your wife changes the locks to your home, you are allowed to enter the home however you need to. That can sometimes mean calling the police so they can help you safely enter or calling a locksmith.

If your name is not on the deed, I would encourage you to contact an attorney in your jurisdiction right away to help you determine if you have a marital share of the home to protect your interests.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney in Virginia, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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