Locked out of home by my spouse who is an attorney.

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Old Feb 13th, 2012, 09:12 PM   #1
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Default Locked out of home by my spouse who is an attorney.

My spouse, who is an attorney, locked me out of our joint owned home. She refuses to file for divorce or to agree to one. The police told me that I would need to file a Writ of Assistance through the court to obtain access to the home. I have contacted attorney(s) and was first advised to just go break in the home and change the locks myself. I returned to the local police department and told them what my attorney advised me to do and was told that I would be arrested if I chose to take this route. The attorney I have hired says that there's nothing he can file with the court to obtain accesss to the property. I am in a small town and my wife and her legal partners have a lot of control when it comes to the court/legal system here. What are my real options?
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Old Feb 13th, 2012, 09:50 PM   #2
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Default re: Locked out of home by my spouse who is an attorney.

You do not need her to agree to file for Divorce
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Old Feb 13th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #3
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Default re: Locked out of home by my spouse who is an attorney.

I was told there are no grounds for divorce. My first concern is gaining access to the property and finding an attorney who has my "best interest" in mind.
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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 04:54 AM   #4
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Default re: Locked out of home by my spouse who is an attorney.

If you have joint ownership in the building you have the right to enter into the building unless your portion is demarked. It is better to file a complaint to the local police station against your spouse for restraining you from entry to the building. You can also break the locks, because you have ownership in the property.
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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 09:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Locked out of home by my spouse who is an attorney.

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I was told there are no grounds for divorce. My first concern is gaining access to the property and finding an attorney who has my "best interest" in mind.
Irreociable differences is grounds however most states now are no fault Divorce states. someone is giving you bad advice
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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 09:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Locked out of home by my spouse who is an attorney.

I've read both of your posts and my first response is the police in your area are acting outside of the law. Either that or they're incompetent clods who are earning tax money wages by sheer luck.

You cannot - I repeat - cannot be arrested for changing the locks to your own home. If the title (deed) is held in both of your names, the house is equally yours. That means that nobody can kick you out and no police officer can arrest you for changing the locks or breaking the windows.

My advice to you is to stop seeking out police intervention and advice. You are only succeeding in giving them a file to create for the future. They cannot help (and in fact, most of the time the police only make matters worse. They're mostly incompetent) and will not help you with this. It is a civil matter.

Whomever told you there were "no grounds for divorce" is a simpleton. All one person needs for grounds is a desire to not be married any longer. We live in modern times where spouses are not held captive in marriage when they want out.

Since you know your wife is a formidable opponent, it's wise to tread lightly.

You have her refusal to file or agree to a divorce on your side. Without a divorce, no assets are split and whatever you both own jointly remains that way. This gives you plenty of wiggle room when moving back into your house.

Simply call a locksmith and have the locks changed. You are under no obligation to give her the new keys. In fact, it might be best to file a Protection from Abuse petition against her and have her removed - legally - from the home. She sounds unstable.
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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 05:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Locked out of home by my spouse who is an attorney.

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Originally Posted by 411 View Post
My spouse, who is an attorney, locked me out of our joint owned home. She refuses to file for divorce or to agree to one. The police told me that I would need to file a Writ of Assistance through the court to obtain access to the home. I have contacted attorney(s) and was first advised to just go break in the home and change the locks myself. I returned to the local police department and told them what my attorney advised me to do and was told that I would be arrested if I chose to take this route. The attorney I have hired says that there's nothing he can file with the court to obtain accesss to the property. I am in a small town and my wife and her legal partners have a lot of control when it comes to the court/legal system here. What are my real options?
First thing you need to do is get another attorney. Neither of you can lock the other out of the house without there being a court order granting one or the other exclusive use of the home. You both have a right to occupy it as your residence.

As to the lawyer saying there is nothing he can do to get you access to your home, get another lawyer!

You are going to have some conflict of interest, bias problems with judges and officials if you file in the county in which she practices. Expect it. Expect less than a whole lot of diligent work representing you against her from her peers, too. The advice you have been given reflects that.

My recommendation would be to consult with a laywer in an adjoining county about bringing your action there for judges she has appeared before, judges who know her from the other side of the bench, should be recusing themselves. You either need an out of county judge or to have your matter tried in another county. And should she file before you, a motion for change of venue would be an expected move on your part.

I know too many sad tales of justice mangled or denied by a plaintiff or defendant appearing against a lawyer spouse on her turf, before her friends on the bench. Just a heads up.
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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Locked out of home by my spouse who is an attorney.

Unfortunately, it goes even beyond the county level. Connections are stong statewide and to the federal court system.
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