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Can I take anything out of the house during my divorce?

Mar 8, 2021 | Divorce

Ending a marriage with divorce is not an isolated event. There can be periods of living separately, reconciliation and being broken up but living under the same roof. These transitions make it tricky for divorcing spouses to know what they should and should not do.

For instance, people often wonder what they can take out of their home if they are staying elsewhere.

What you can take

If you move out before your divorce is final, you can generally take your personal belongings and separate property with you. These items might include:

  • Clothing
  • Cosmetics
  • Equipment you use for work
  • Your phone and computer

Removing these items can allow you to continue working and caring for yourself while a divorce is ongoing. It can also prevent your soon-to-be-ex-spouse from destroying or selling your property.

What you should leave

It is wise to refrain from removing marital property that the other person has not given you permission to take, regardless of how justified or wronged you might feel during a divorce.

Thus, you might want to make a list of the marital property and take pictures to document the conditions before moving out. Doing so can ensure a full and accurate accounting of things inside a marital home while also dissuading an ex from unfairly throwing away or destroying property.

Having said all that, it can be vital to confirm with an attorney if you have questions about what you can and cannot take.

Making arrangements peacefully

Going to your home can trigger conflicts and arguments. Thus, it can be wise for parties to agree on a time for this to happen. Doing so can ensure the interaction is convenient for both people, and it gives the other party the chance to leave.

Other suggestions for making this situation more comfortable and safer include:

  • Having a friend accompany you help and be a witness to any conflicts
  • Having someone else pack and pick up your belongings for you
  • Deciding ahead of time whether one or both parties should be there
  • Agreeing on how long the other party should be gone while you are there

People often overlook the challenges of collecting and dividing personal property during divorce; it is often more complicated than people expect. Hopefully, this information helps you navigate this process more easily.