When you go through a breakup or separation from your significant other, it can cause a lot of stress. One problem that many couples have to go through when they separate is having one of the individuals refuse to take their belongings from the living area that was shared when still together as a couple. This can end up being a very serious problem and can make it difficult to move on. When you are the one left with your ex’s belongings and they refuse to remove them, you could be wondering what your legal options are for getting rid of the stuff. Below are some of the steps to take in order to get this situation resolved the right way.
Don’t Make Any Rash Decisions
After a breakup, especially a rough one, it can be tempting to just throw away or sell the items that your ex left behind and refuses to pick up. You might be more than ready to move on from anything to do with them. However, this is not the right way to go about it and is illegal. The best first step is to create an inventory of all of your ex’s belongings. It it not completely necessary for the inventory to be a detailed list, but a basic inventory list is a good first step in getting this issue resolved the right way.
Notify The Person To Retrieve Their Belongings
It is very likely that your ex knows full well they have belongings they have left behind. However, it is in your best interest to let them know that you want their things to be picked up in writing. If you send an email or a text, keep a copy of the message for future use if it comes to that. If you end up having to go to court over this issue, you will want there to be evidence that you told them to pick up their belongings. If you really want to cover yourself, you could send them a letter via certified mail. When you send a letter to them about retrieving their belongings by certified mail, they will have to acknowledge receipt of the letter.
Give A Deadline
Depending on where you live, an ex can be given from 30-60 days to retrieve their belongings. While 30 days should be considered a minimum deadline, you should not set a deadline for less than 30 days. This is considered to be ample time for an ex to remove their possessions. If the deadline passes and they have yet to remove their own possessions, it will be likely acceptable that you are free to remove their belongings from your home as you see fit. If at a later point your ex decides that they want to take you to court for not giving them back their belongings, then you will have proof that you told them to pick up their stuff in writing, gave them a respectful deadline and gave them ample time to get their possessions.
If you do everything listed above before getting rid of your ex’s stuff, you will have no issues if they do decide to take you to court over it. You will have all the evidence you need in order to have the case dismissed because you did everything legally and in your power to let your ex gain possession of their stuff before ridding of it yourself. Many of these types of cases do not end up in court. However, it is still in your best interest to keep evidence of all correspondence in the unlikely event your ex does try to take you to court over it.