Spotlight
Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Spotlight
Latest articles
Hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide fall victims to hackers every year. Is your firm one of them?
SPONSORED CONTENT Image source: Information is beautifulYou and other lawyers and legal assistants in your firm likely have accounts on the hacked websites listed in the image above. If a hacker...
New complaints handling guide offers advice to local authorities
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is today issuing new guidance on effective complaint handling for local authorities.Based on previous documents, the new guide offers practical,...
EU laws continue until at least 2038 and beyond
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020.  But in matters of law it fully leaves on 31 December 2020.  But EU laws will continue to apply, and be applied, in the English family courts from 1...
Family Law Awards winners announced in virtual awards ceremony
The winners of the Family Law Awards 2020 were announced at 4pm during a much-anticipated virtual awards ceremony. Over the past ten years, the Family Law Awards has recognised the leading players in...
Behaviour-based divorces still merit close consideration
Some recent cases illustrate the evidential and procedural issues involved in dealing with proofs on the merits of divorce, which are worth considering even though most cases may conclude on a...
View all articles
Authors

Changing the locks on the family home following separation

Sep 29, 2018, 19:56 PM
separation, abuse, house, family law, divorce
Can I lock my spouse out of the house? This is a common question often raised by clients in the initial stages of separation. It is important for clients to understand what they can and can’t do before they decide to take steps that they may later regret.
Slug : changing-the-locks-on-the-family-home-following-separation
Meta Title : Changing the locks on the family home following separation
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Jun 1, 2017, 05:28 AM
Article ID : 114163
Joanne Raisbeck, Legal Director and Head of the Family Team
Hill Dickinson LLP 


Can I lock my spouse out of the house? This is a common question often raised by clients in the initial stages of separation. It is important for clients to understand what they can and can’t do before they decide to take steps that they may later regret.


Domestic Violence: Law and Practice is a comprehensive practitioner’s guide to dealing with cases involving personal protection, harassment and domestic violence.

The extensive text is supplemented by appendices containing key forms, precedents and legislation.


Find out more or request a free 1-week trial of Domestic Violence: Law and Practice. Please quote: 100482.



There are actually very few circumstances where a partner can be forced to leave their home and they will usually have a right to stay in (or return to) the family home if they are married, in a civil partnership, a co-owner or named on a tenancy agreement.

Furthermore, where a property is owned in joint names, both owners have an equal right to access. This means that if one owner changes the locks in an effort to frustrate the access of other then the excluded owner can choose to instruct a locksmith to further change the locks in order to secure their re-entry.

However, if following separation a partner has been excluded from the property and that person is fixed on regaining access, they should be advised to exercise caution against any attempted break-in as they may inadvertently find themselves on the wrong side of the law.


Many people are unaware that Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 provides that it is a criminal offence for a person to use or threaten violence to enter a property without lawful authority if there is a person on the premises who is opposed to their entry and the person attempting to enter knows this is the case. The Act specifically states that the fact that a person has an interest in or a right to possess or occupy the property does not in itself constitute lawful authority and it does not matter whether the violence is directed against the person or the property itself.

It must also be highlighted that if the partner in situ at the family home feels threatened or they have been subject to domestic abuse by the other, then in addition to any action taken by the police, it may be possible to legally exclude the other partner from the family home by obtaining an ‘occupation order’. This type of order will set out who can live in the family home or enter the surrounding area and it can also be made on an emergency basis to provide immediate protection where there is an imminent risk of harm.

It is always sensible to take early advice as it may be possible to resolve the situation amicably and without unnecessarily increasing tension and confrontation between you.
Categories :
  • Articles
Tags :
locksmith
Authors
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Related Articles
Load more comments
Comment by from