Can my common-law partner kick me out, change the locks and keep our kids inside our home?

angry spouse changing the locks

That is a terrible situation.  It sounds like you will have to take steps right away to protect yourself, your children and your legal rights. 


With regard to getting back in the house, your rights are very limited in a common law relationship.  You basically only have rights as a "boarder" in the home.  For more on the rights of common law couples in relation to their home on separation, see this page. 


With regard to your children, your rights are much more complicated.  But, it is not acceptable for your partner to just to cut you off from them - by changing the locks or otherwise. A parents does not get to unilaterally decide to keep the children.  If the parents cannot decide who will have custody of the children, then a judge (or family arbitrator) must decide.   To see how judges decide who gets custody of a child, see this page  and watch this video.


This page provides a bit of information on what to do if one parent won’t let the other see the children.   However, in a situation where one parent kicks out the other to keep the kids, you are going to need to speak to a lawyer and get to court quickly before your partner does anything else that is impulsive.  This podcast describes how to start court proceedings:   However, a lawyer can really help put together a case that will convince a judge that your daughters should be with you - and right away. Toronto Family Lawyer, John Schuman, and his team have successfully dealt with many emergency child custody situations. To contact him, call the phone number at the top of the page, or use the form below.  To understand the first steps in court, watch this video or listen to this podcast


For the usual things you should be worried about when separating, watch this video


Guide to the Basic of Ontario Family Law (Book)

You can learn about how Ontario Family Law applies to you, how the Family Court System works and how to advance a child custody case, pick up a copy of this $20 easy-to-understand book on Ontario Family Law.  It will give you an understanding of how the law works in general and has lots of tips to help you win your family court case.

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© John P. Schuman 2014