DivorceChat: CAN MY SPOUSE LOCK ME OUT OF OUR HOUSE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE?
By Jeffrey A. Runge, Esquire
Dear Jeff: My wife and I own a home together in New Hampshire. Whenever she gets mad at me she threatens that she’s going to change the locks on the doors to the house when I’m at work and essentially kick me out. Can she really kick me out of my own house?
— Potentially Homeless Bill
Dear Bill: I’m sorry to hear that you are going through this situation with your wife. In New Hampshire there are laws that protect you, and your access to your own property. So, without a Court Order your wife would not be able to simply change the locks to the house and forbid you from entering.
In New Hampshire it does not matter which spouse legally owns the property, the law grants, among other things, marital interest rights of both spouses in the property. These legal interest rights allows both parties to occupy the residence until an Order from the Court indicates otherwise.
Bill, if you return home from work, and your wife has changed the locks, or otherwise locked you out of your own house, and she does not have an Order from the Court allowing such action, contact the local Police Department for immediate assistance. You have just as much right to remain in your house as your spouse does.
And, if this situation occurs, I would recommend that you contact an experienced divorce attorney so you have a complete understanding of the laws surrounding marital asset division in New Hampshire.
Jeff Runge, is a practicing New Hampshire Divorce & Family Law Attorney. He is the Managing Partner at Family Legal Services, P.C. If you have questions for Jeff, please email them to Jrunge@familylegalservices.org. All inquiries are confidential.