How can I stop my ex from taking my things until the divorce? 4 Answers as of November 29, 2010

We have filed for divorce, but my ex keeps taking things out of the house while I am at work. He only takes things that he knows I am attached to. They are my things but were purchased during marriage, so he claims they are marital property. Can I do anything to stop him, and will this play in my favor at all in court?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
You can file for an ex parte hearing to prevent him from moving anything else from the house. There are standard restraining orders which are in place at the time that you file for divorce so your ex is not allowed to remove and get rid of property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/29/2010
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Go to court and obtain a restraining order.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/27/2010
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
It is hard to precisely answer your question, as you did not state what property your husband is taking without your permission. However, please note that generally speaking, there is a legal procedure for a spouse to get temporary court orders regarding exclusive possession, use, or control of certain property, depending of course on the property in question, and why a spouse needs exclusive possession, use, or control. For instance, sometimes it is best for one spouse (given certain circumstances) to have exclusive possession of an asset to preserve its value for later division. There can be other reasons as well, depending on the property and the circumstances. I would suggest you talk to a lawyer to discuss the property in question and your circumstances to determine what is the best course of action.

Another option is to get an order for exclusive occupancy of the house, so your husband cannot simply come in when he pleases and take certain property. Rather, he would need to make a list and arrange a time to come by to gather such items. However, you have to get a court order before you can simply prohibit him from equal access to a community property home.

Please also note that if you husband takes community property and either sells it, damages it, or does anything else to reduce the value of that property (and hence the value of your interest), he is still responsible to ultimately pay your half value in that property when you finally resolve your divorce. Both spouses are in a fiduciary role (i.e., have a legal obligation) to protect and preserve the value of all community property in their possession until it is ultimately divided. Keep a list of all property he has taken, including an estimate of its value at the time he took it. Again, if he does anything to reduce your interest (and he did not have your agreement to take such action), then he is still responsible for any loss of value he may cause. Yet, this does not include sentimental value.

I would strongly suggest you immediately contact a local family law lawyer to discuss your situation, including developing a plan about how to protect your property rights.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/25/2010
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
If your husband has already moved out, change the locks. If you are still living with him, move your valuable things out to a trusted friends house or to a storage locker, or move out with all your things while he is at work. You could apply for a restraining order, and if you can persuade the judicial officer that it is an emergency matter, you may be able to get a restraining order, but your best bet is self-help: protect your valuables by securing them where your husband can't get to them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/25/2010
Click to View More Answers: