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Though they often happen in secret, abusive relationships are prevalent in today’s society. Leaving an abusive relationship can be emotionally difficult, but the goal is to keep everyone involved safe. One of the main concerns you may have is retrieving your personal belongings. This is especially true for those who flee in fear for their life. You may need your friends, family, and law enforcement to help retrieve your items.
Know Your Rights
You must familiarize yourself with your legal rights. You have rights of protection over you and also your property. It varies from state to state in terms of what is considered personal property. After a relationship has ended, you should try to take as much with you when you leave. If that is not possible, there are other methods for getting your items returned. In these situations, it is best to have legal counsel assisting. You need to act safely and legally in this matter. It is difficult not to get emotionally charged when dealing with an ex. However, a lawyer doesn’t have the same emotional ties as you and can help.
Getting An Order of Protection
One of the things a lawyer can do is file for an Order of Protection on your behalf. This is a legal document that limits the activity of the abusive party. It also protects you in the event that they cross these court-mandated barriers. These orders can have stipulations depending on children, previous police reports, financial aspects, and the amount of time spend together. The lawyer can ensure that any personal belongings that are sold, destroyed, or damaged be compensated.
Law Enforcement Accompaniment
You can ask a police officer to accompany you to retrieve your belongings. If you were to go alone, you may face verbal and physical abuse. The presence of an officer will help to thwart such behavior. It is your right to request an officer go with you. When asking the police department for help, show them the paper trail that this person is dangerous. Factual information will help solidify your claims. The officer will need to schedule a time to go and get your items. The time will need to be scheduled with all parties involved. This is often one of the easiest ways to retrieve your things with little resistance.
Prompt the Backing of Friends and Family
Just like the officers, many friends and family have no claim in the relationship either. Your ex may be willing to allow one of them to pick up your items for you. Make a list of all the things that you want to be returned. Have the person call the ex to set a pickup time. If your ex is unwilling to work with the third party, you have the option to file a case in civil court.
The key is to get your stuff within the legal parameters of the law. If you need to you file for divorce, separation, or child custody, the lawyer can help you do that once you are settled and in a better place. Your safety is the first and foremost concern for all involved.