The question of whether one spouse can change the locks on the house and deny the other spouse access to the house is frequently asked. The simple, short answer is NO! Until a divorce judge awards one spouse or the other the exclusive possession of the house and permits the locks to be changed, both spouses have the right under Texas law to occupy the marital residence. If one spouse locks the other out of the house without the property authority, the other spouse can obtain entry to the house without penalty under the law. In other words, the locked-out-spouse can legally break-in to the house, or hire a locksmith to permit entry.