The Family Law Leader

Q: Can I change the locks once my spouse leaves?

A: I generally advise against doing this unless there is an immediate risk of domestic violence. If that is the case, you should seek a personal protection order from the court. If you and your spouse cannot live together in a way that is safe and does not cause undue stress for you and the children, your attorney can petition the court for an order of exclusive possession of the home. If you feel unsafe in the home, changing the locks will not do much good anyway. You should talk to an attorney about a personal protection order and find alternative living arrangements.

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