It is a thirty year marriage and the parties have one child. They have been separated for approximately one year. In addition to their principal residence, the parties own a beach property in Maryland. The parties have been alternating use of that property for the last two summers. 

Wife went to the beach property one weekend (her weekend) and discovered that the master bedroom door had a new lock; and that Husband had moved his girlfriend into that bedroom. What to do? 

Obviously, divorces are stressful and at times, hurtful. If Wife had done the same thing and had moved her boyfriend into the master bedroom, her Husband would certainly have kicked down the door and placed new locks on that door. However, self help is never beneficial to anyone. 

The parties should have cooperated with one another before the situation happened and should have entered into a written Stipulation confirmed by the Court relating to the disposition of that vacation property. 

In this instance, Wife, despite her emotional need to do something, should call her lawyer who, if an agreement could not be reached with Husband’s lawyer, would then make a decision whether to file a Petition for Emergency Relief requesting Court intervention in this situation. Wife will have to weigh the cost of the drafting and prosecution of such a petition against the fact that, although the Court may not condone Husband’s actions, it may choose to “look the other way” and let the parties fend for themselves.