Last Updated on
A divorce may not always be a completely amicable affair because it is an emotional experience for both parties. Perhaps, this is one reason why your future ex might try to threaten or intimidate you by stating that he intends to throw away your belongings.
The short answer is that he is not legally allowed to do something like this to your personal property. Your soon-to-be ex may be held accountable for any loss that you suffer before the divorce is settled.
Of course, there are other aspects to consider such as whether you are in a community property law-practicing state like California or other states that use the equitable distribution principle. Community property states will divide the assets to roughly equal. Other states that use equitable distribution will look at what each spouse makes, who will keep the children, and other factors to divide the assets.
These factors could determine how much you end up getting should your future ex decide to do something as foolish as throwing away your belongings. You need to talk to your lawyer to get a little more information regarding how these assets might be split up and to get a better idea of what your ex-to-be might end up owing if he decides to dispose of your personal property.
Another important aspect to consider is that your home is still marital property before the divorce is finalized. There is no reason why you cannot simply go home and retrieve your property before your partner tries to throw your things away.
Clearly, it would be wise to go collect your items with someone you trust if you and your husband are not on good terms. Be sure to talk to your lawyer before making this move to avoid any issues. Yes, an item may be yours, but a judge might rule a particular item as something that belongs to both of you. This is why it is important to talk to a lawyer to make sure everything is clear.
An experienced lawyer will likely tell you that you should let your soon-to-be ex know that he or she might end up being liable for any loss that you suffer. This deed could also be used against him during the inevitable divorce trial.
Be sure that you understand that leaving the property is not the best move unless you are being violently harassed. Leaving the property leaves you vulnerable to these types of situations among many others. For one, it will look bad on your part if you left without your children, especially if you are seeking custody. Exiting the property will also put unnecessary strain on your finances when you need to be a little more frugal until the divorce is finalized.
Hopefully, you had a talk with your lawyer before you moved out, but if you did not, at least start to talk to one before you deal with the possibility of your ex throwing away your stuff.