Can I Be Evicted or Locked Out By My Wife, Husband, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Spouse, or Domestic Partner?
I think the best answer is it depends. If you are on the deed with your partner as a co-owner then as a general rule you they are not allowed to evict you or lock you out. On the other hand, if you are not named as a a co-owner on the deed then as a general rule they are allowed to evict you or lock out out, but they must first go through the legal process to obtain a court order. In most Counties in Maryland this process takes a few months.
But What If I Have a Legal Court Order That Allows Me To Stay on The Property?
Then you can stay on the property. An example of this is if you’re granted temporary use or possession of the property during a divorce.
But She’s My Wife, and We Agreed That Just Her Name Would Be on The House But I Paid For It?
Too bad. You may be entitled to equity in the property. A Judge may determine that you may even be entitled to most of the value of the property during a divorce. That said, you’re not entitled to live in it and your out-sized contribution doesn’t matter.
But What If We Have A Written Agreement That I Can Stay on The Property Even Though I’m Not on The Deed?
Then you most likely can stay on the property per the terms of the agreement. You’ll have to look to the terms of the license or lease to see what conditions you may be asked to leave the property. If the agreement wasn’t in writing then there is a strong chance it may not be enforceable due to the statute of frauds.
Can My Partner Evict Me or Lock Me Out If We Have Children Together?
Yes. Without a Court order authorizing your use and possession of the property your wife or husband can ask you to leave if you’re not an owner.
So My Spouse or Ex-Partner Keeps Attempting To Lock Me Out Or Evict Me Without a Court Order, What are My Options?
I think it maybe time to consider a protective order from District Court or a use and possession order from a Civil action such as a Divorce.
Can I Evict or Lock Out My Husband or Wife To Prevent Domestic Violence?
Maybe. You have to do what you have to do in order to ensure your safety. It is reasonable to protect yourself by locking out your aggressors. I think I’m right to assume that the burden of proof will be on you to show that it was reasonable to lock them out. Immediately contact an organization that helps victim of domestic violence and let them know the situation for guidance, call the police, and consider filing for a protective order against your partner.
Does My Spouse or Partner Have To Give Me a Notice To Vacate Before Evicting or Locking Me Out?
I think at a minimum an informal notice is required. Even if you’re wrongfully in possession of the premises many Judges at least wants to see the violating party was asked to leave by the owner. A formal notice may be required if the parties have or conducted themselves in a way that could be perceived as a landlord-tenant relationship. For example if you pay rent then you’re probably entitled to receive a formal notice to vacate.
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