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In a marriage, a couple may have what is referred to as separate property and what is referred to as joint property. Generally, individuals can do whatever they want with their separate property as it has and always will belong to them. However, an individual may not remove items from a marital home that belongs to you or is considered joint property.
Do You Have a Divorce or Separation Agreement?
If there is a divorce or separation agreement between you and your husband or partner, it may stipulate when and how items may be removed from a home. Therefore, it is possible that he has the right to take property that either belongs to him or was given to him when you two split up. However, if there is no agreement or property is being taken in violation of this pact, it may be a good idea to call your attorney or talk to a judge.
A Restraining Order May Be Granted
It is possible that a judge could grant a restraining order against your husband or partner preventing him from taking any property. This order may be put into effect even if he owns the home assuming that the items belonged to both of you jointly. Such an order may also be granted if he is taking items that may be used to help care for any children that you had together.
You May Be Allowed to Change the Locks or Otherwise Restrict Access
If your former spouse or partner is attempting to take property from your home without a valid reason, it may be possible to take measures to prevent entry. For instance, you may be able to change the locks on the doors and windows. It may also be possible to install an alarm system that will deter him from trying to enter the home either legally or otherwise. Assuming that you have permission to do so, taking these steps may keep yourself, your kids and your property safe from theft or other abuse.
Let the Authorities Handle It
If necessary, call the police as soon as you see anyone trying to take things from your home without a court order or your permission. A police officer will be able to investigate the situation and resolve it calmly and without the need for the situation to escalate unnecessarily. Remember, a separation or divorce may bring out emotions that you may not be able to control, which could lead to a physical altercation or a shouting match that your children may witness.
It is never fun trying to deal with a man who is trying to take your belongings in an effort to make your life harder. However, the best way to handle such a situation is to stay in touch with your attorney and other authorities. Working together, it may be possible to get him to cease all attempts to take what rightfully belongs to you or your children.
When you make the decision to separate, you might worry that your spouse will take things out of your home that aren’t his or that haven’t been divided equally. It’s common for one person to move out of the home when you decide to separate, and it’s also common for the spouse to take his personal belongings, such as clothes and toiletries. However, there are more items in your home that have been shared, such as furniture and appliances. These are items that usually stay in the home unless your spouse’s name is attached to them and only the name of your spouse. If you jointly own these items and there is some type of proof that you can give to the court to show that your name is attached to the property as well, then the court will likely make a decision as to what happens to the property.
One way that you can prevent him from taking things out of your home is to have a police officer present when he leaves. The officer will ensure that the departure is civil and that there are no belongings taken from the home that shouldn’t be taken. If there are any questions or concerns as to what your spouse should take, then it can be settled in court. Any documents that you have pertaining to the items in your home that he claims to have ownership to should be taken to your attorney and presented to the court when you have your divorce hearing. If you want to keep something that you know is that of your spouse, then you would need his permission to keep it as he would need your permission to keep something that is clearly yours.
When your spouse leaves your home, you can have a friend or family member come to your home who does not have any stake in the final decision. This person can then monitor the situation so that he only leaves with items that are his at the time. Sometimes, a third party who knows both parties equally can offer advice when you’re trying to sort out possessions and what should be taken. A judge will make the final decision as to what he can take from the home if you are unable to come to an agreement without involving the court. The decision will often be in writing so that you clearly know what he is allowed to take with him. If he tries to take more than what is ordered, then you can contact a police officer who can come to the home to prevent him from taking your belongings.
If you can communicate with him in a sensible manner, then you might be able to come to a conclusion as to who gets each large piece of furniture in the home and how the smaller items will be separated. An option would be to sell the items that you don’t want and divide the money received from the sale equally. Some of the things that could be removed from the home, divided, or sold include furniture, artwork, electronics, and appliances. If the home is in your name only, then he typically has to have permission to remove items from the home even if they are his. If you’re unable to come to any conclusion about the items that are in the home, then you can each approach the judge to talk about what you each want to keep. The judge would then look at who owns the property and who would benefit from keeping the property before making a decision.
There are a few belongings that he can take that aren’t considered attached to the home, such as jewelry that is clearly his or toiletries. Other items include collections that he has kept, movies that are his, and supplies that are needed for work. In the event that your spouse tries to sell items without your knowledge or permission, then you can speak with an attorney about getting those items back or keeping him from taking them from the home. The best option for everyone involved would be to make an arrangement with a legal representative who can be at your home on a specified day so that your spouse can gather the items that are his and so that you can change the lock on the door to prevent him from entering in the future.