Burnsville Family Law Attorney, Merlyn Meinerts, addresses a specific situation to getting kicked out of your house in this ReelTroubles episode.
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Male: So I’m at work talking to my wife on the phone and things are getting a little heated, let’s just say. I’m trying to explain that she can’t stay married to me and see this starving artist boyfriend of hers. To which she replies that I can’t control what she does and she swears – I don’t think I can say that, the words that she used – and she hung up on me. And then when I get home, I find that she’s thrown my clothes on the lawn and changed the locks. I can’t make it in the house. So I want to know what are my rights. What can I do?
Merlyn Meinerts: First step for the gentleman in question is to seek legal assistance, because making a rash decision and seeking to self-enforce their rights, even though they may exist, may be problematic for a variety of reasons. While the parties reside together in a homestead, that’s marital property. They’re both entitled to have access to that property and to have the use and enjoyment of that property. However, you can imagine that if that gentleman sought to reassert himself by kicking the door in or doing something else to gain access to the property, his next may visit be from the sheriff serving him with an order for protection. So there may be better, more reasoned ways of working through those processes without creating a bigger problem than existed in the first place. With respect to the clothes thrown on the lawn and those other things, that is not as uncommon as it may otherwise sound. I advice people to keep this perspective: when it comes to personal property and clothing, we’re talking about garage sale value of used stuff. Certainly, running to Target or Macy’s to replace a few shirts or pairs of underwear may be cheaper than having to deal with an order for protection or other more serious legal problems down the road. It’s all about perspective.