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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My wife has deserted me which will be a year ago in August

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My wife has deserted me which will be a year ago in August this year. I still and have always paid for the mortgage and now i manage the house on my own just fine. The door lock was sticking, which she knew about prior to deserting me, so after about 6 months after she left i had the lock fixed and changed. Whilst i understand legally i should of provided her with key after, i didn't do so, as i felt she didn't deserve one and I've requested from her that she respects my privacy, safety, and my belongings, as i don't trust or believe anything she says anymore or if her new man will have access to the key. She is now saying she wants the rest of her stuff from my flat which i have no problem with and I've said she's welcome to take it but when I'm there. But she doesn't want me to be there while she's getting her stuff and says she will change the locks as its her right do so as her name is ***** ***** deeds. Even though I've said ok how about i bring her stuff down to where ever she lives, but she won't even agree to that or tell me where she is and that she's still going to change the lock as she's owns the flat too. Please can you advise what i should do, i feel this could keep on going round and round.
Hi, thank you for your question. Has she now found somewhere else to live? In the circumstances, as she is no longer occupying the property I would suggest that you agree for a third-party to attend with her so that she can collect her belongings and provide her a key to the property as she still has a right to occupy arising out of the marriage and the property being in joint names. It is not reasonable for her to change the locks back as she does not live there despite the interest she has in the property.If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes she's been renting a place since she left. Ive been told by her cousin that she might be moving in with her new boyfriend weather she is doing this or already done this i don't know and she won't tell me, either way she isn't living with me. When you say third party do you mean like one of her relatives? or someone she knows? When you say provide her with a key do you mean to keep one? I understand her rights to the flat i have no problem with that.
Third party as in anyone independent just to assist and witness if anything were to happen at the home. As she still has rights to occupy the home and there does not appear to be a court order excluding her, she should have a key until you are divorced or there is a court order excluding her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok many thanks, ***** ***** provide her with a key in this case then.
So once we get divorced will she have to give me the key back?
Either she returns the key upon divorce or you can change the locks again - but obviously it depends on what happens to the property as part of any financial settlement.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, but during the time she has a key, what about my privacy, safety and personnel possessions? She and who ever she's with has access to my flat. Dare i say it but shouldn't i be fairfull of my safety?
Legally, the person she is with has no right to enter the property and you should call the police if they do. Given that she no longer occupies the property, and after she has taken her belongings, she technically has no need to return to the property. You should therefore request that she provides you with reasonable notice if she wishes to enter the property.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could i call the police if anyone other than her enters the property?
Yes - they will have no right to enter the property
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Even her relatives?
Yes. Her relatives have no right to enter or occupy the property unless their name is ***** ***** title.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok how do i go about arranging a third party being there. i guess it would have to be someone we both not related to who we agree on?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What if she goes ahead and changes the locks? what can i do or what are my rights?
If she changes the locks, you can change them again - I know it sounds petty - but if she is not living there, there is no need for her to change them.In relation to a third party, it can be anyone who is a friend and just there to assist and witness. To prevent any issue it may be helpful for you to have a friend and for her to have a friend.