During a divorce or a legal separation, one of the biggest negotiated issues is the division of the property. While many couples will work together in order to divide their personal belongings, in certain cases, one ex will refuse to let the other take their personal property. In some instances, an angry ex might act out their anger by withholding the other person’s property.
Before you try to get your personal property back, there are ways to go about it legally. You are entitled to your property and belongings. Going through a divorce or breakup is never easy and adding things like dividing personal belongings can make it even more difficult. Below are some steps to in order to get your property back.
Keep Your Anger At Bay
When your ex is not letting you get your personal property back, it may make you want to retaliate. This is not in your interest. Your ex may feel like they are entitled to your stuff because you are no longer living there and left the stuff behind after you initially moved out. However, you have legal rights and should be given a reasonable amount of time to get all of your belongings moved out. In many cases, you are supposed to be given a minimum of 30 days in order to remove the rest of your personal property from the residence.
If you were married, it is important to understand the differences between personal property and marital property. Marital property refers to any items that are bought or acquired during the course of the marriage. However, before you or your ex make claim to any items, your state laws will ultimately determine who the items belong to. Knowing these differences can clear up a lot of issues when it comes to having the courts divide the assets in a divorce proceeding.
You will be able to find out which personal items are legally yours to keep. If you do take marital property with you when you move out, you should be sure to inform your spouse during the divorce proceedings. It is illegal to keep any items you took a secret. Keep in mind, however, some of the items that you choose to take initially might be deemed a marital asset and might either have to be given a cash value to split or you may have to give it back.
Any property that you owned before you were married is considered separate property and you can legally take it. These belongings that you owned previously will not be divided in the divorce proceedings. There are only a few legal exceptions to this rule and are usually based around the property gaining an increased value as a result of the marriage.
How To Recover Your Personal Property After Moving Out
When you have already moved out and want to retrieve your belongings, you should start by requesting to your ex that you want to pick your items up. This should be done in a way where you can save a copy of the correspondence. An email or a text message should suffice. Depending on how well you and your ex get along, below are a few things to consider when planning to retrieve your belongings.
•Set up a mutually agreeable time for you to go and pick up your belongings.
•If you would rather not see your ex, you can request that they not be there when you pick up your items. However, if this is their residence, they will have to be in agreement of you picking up your personal property alone.
•Bring a friend or family member with you that you both trust. This can help to ease the tension between the two of you.
•If none of the previous options sound appealing, you can ask for permission to send someone else to pick up your belongings. This does require you to trust that your ex will pack up all of your personal belongings safely.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to pick up your belongings when you agree to. If you set a date and do not pick up your personal property, there are some instances where you may lose out on getting it back at all. This is especially true if you and your significant other were not married. If you set a date and your ex fails to let you pick up your belongings, you will need to request an order from the court in order to get your personal property back.