How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35071
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Hi, in Northern Ireland, UK, can a wife legally change the

This answer was rated:

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?

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?
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.

How old are the children and does she not wish to remain in the property?
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.

Will she be willing to issue divorce proceedings?
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.

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
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?

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 and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you