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11 Oct 17

Can he keep my personal things until after our divorce is settled?

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When you’re going through a divorce and you are the one who leaves the home that you and your spouse have shared, you might have to move in with someone or find a smaller home that you can afford. There are likely personal belongings that you left behind at the other home that you would like to get back. It’s best not to try to go to the home to get your personal belongings until the divorce proceedings have been settled or unless you have an officer with you while you get what’s yours.

Once the divorce is settled, each side will get a part of the assets. Any separate funds will be given to the appropriate person, and any personal property will be given to the rightful owner. Your spouse cannot legally keep your personal belongings even if the divorce has not been settled. You might have to show that the items are yours, but he cannot keep them in the home if you want them back. If you know that you or the other party will file for divorce, you need to complete a property inventory so that you have a list of the items that are yours, the items that belong to the spouse and the items that you share. This will make things a bit easier when you go to court and decide who gets the belongings in the home.

You need to determine exactly what is joint property and what is sole property, including any finances, stocks, insurance or other similar assets. Sole property is usually the property that each person had before entering into the marriage. Joint property, or shared property, is usually what is purchased after marriage. If finances are put together, then it could be considered joint property and divided during the divorce settlement.

If there isn’t any kind of proof that an item is yours or if there is any kind of dispute about who the item belongs to, then there is a possibility that the item will need to remain in the home until a solution can be reached. However, if the property is obviously yours or you are entitled to the property, then it can be taken from the home. An example would be furniture that is purchased using money that both of you had in an account. Both of you would need to show where the money came from to obtain the furniture, such as a receipt or a canceled check. Most of the time, couples can reach an agreement without any kind of argument involved regarding furniture and similar items.

According to the Spodek Law Group, as long as there isn’t any question about the property being yours, then you can usually get the property at any time. You should try to take as much as you can when you initially leave so that you don’t need to go back to the home. If you have large pieces of furniture that you need to remove, then it’s a good decision to arrange for someone to help you get your belongings at the same time instead of trying to find someone at a later time. These tactics will help to prevent items from being sold if your spouse doesn’t want them in the home or from being thrown away. Try to find a time when you can go to the home to look through items alone instead of with your spouse present, especially if there is a possibility that there will be a disagreement. If this isn’t an option, then consider getting an outside party to sit in the home while you go through your belongings so that you can get everything that is yours at one time.

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