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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34286
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hi, in Northern Ireland, UK, can a wife legally change the

Resolved Question:

Hi, in Northern Ireland, UK, can a wife legally change the locks on her house after her husband has moved out; he left about a month ago? Both their names are ***** ***** mortgage and they both pay it. What are her rights? Many thanks. Also, can she force a house sale even if he disagrees with it?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Has there been any Domestic Violence involved?
Are there any children involved?
How much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes there has been domestic violence but I don't think she wants this to be disclosed, and there are children involved. I believe the property is worth £150-200K and maybe 60K left on the mortgage. Thanks.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How old are the children and does she not wish to remain in the property?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Clare, there are young teenagers and one under 10. She might just want to sell it to make a clean break. Sorry I can't give specifics.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
Will she be willing to issue divorce proceedings?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No for now I think they are just going for a financial settlement. It is very tricky as she does not want to rock the boat or inflame him in any way.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that unless she loses her keys she cannot change the locks as her ex is a joint owner and entitled to access to the house.
She is however clearly entitled to apply to the court for an order excluding him from the property as a result of his Domestic Violence
She can also make a financial claim within Divorce proceedings and force a sale of the property unless her ex is able to buy out her share of the equity - bearing in mind she may well be entitled to more than 50% of the equity
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Clare, last question. Does it actually have to be Divorce proceedings that would drive a forced sale, or could it be purely to settle and separate their finances, even if he disagrees with the sale?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The only way that she can force the issue is within the financial side of divorce proceedings
Obviously if he agrees there is no problem
Clare
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