What happens to my wife's personal property in a divorce? 11 Answers as of June 05, 2015

My wife moved out and has been living with someone else for about 4 months. We were married for 12 years. Fortunately we have no children together. When she moved out she took a car that was in both our names, but that is about it. She left essentially all of her personal possessions and many of the more expensive items that we had purchased together, even though I had the better job. Since she abandoned me and her property, does that mean that she has no legal right to that personal property?

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Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
In Florida, any property acquired during the marriage is marital property that needs to be divided. You should file for divorce and in the process, all assets, debts and property will be properly divided. If you destroy or remove anything, you could have to reimburse her for the value. You should consult with an attorney. I would be more than happy to speak with you regarding your potential case. All of my initial, potential new client consultations are conducted over the telephone and are free. During the consultation, we can speak about the particulars of your case, discuss your potential rights and options, and I can determine what the appropriate Retainer for your matter should be. Typically, they range anywhere from $1,500.00 to $3,000.00 depending on the type of case and the issues involved. Then, should you wish to proceed, we would coordinate the exchanging and signing of any necessary paperwork in order for me to undertake your case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/5/2015
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
I would not throw them away or sell them just yet. File for divorce and see what the judgment ultimately says.. try to get into the judgment a clause that she must claim her stuff withing a reasonable time or its deemed abandoned.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/5/2015
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
The fact that her belongings are still at the residence does not consist of an abandonment. Give her a certain amount of time in writing to collect her belongings. If she fails to do so, you should box them up and put them in storage under her name. You have a fiduciary management and control responsibility not to destroy the other spouses property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/5/2015
Law Office of Martin A. Kahan | Martin A. Kahan
Personal property will be divided in the divorce. The typical order is that each party keeps their personal property and you should not discard hers. You can tell her to come and get it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/5/2015
Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
No. It is still her property. You should contact her and ask her what she wants dine with it. There is no such thing as abandonment in California as it is a no fault divorce state
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/5/2015
    Law Offices of Robert Burns
    Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
    Here abandoning you is legally irrelevant. Her suspected abandonment of her personal property needs to be clarified. Get her views on that in writing (e.g., E-mail).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/4/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Sorry. If there is a divorce her right to her personal property is very likely to be upheld. If some of the property is marital or community property, it's far better for the two of you to work out the division of property than to let the judge decide. S/he doesn't know you, your history, or your tastes, and judges hate to divide personal property., Get a skilled matrimonial lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/4/2015
    GordenLaw, LLC
    GordenLaw, LLC | Vanessa J. Gorden
    Nebraska is a community property state, so everything is both of yours until you are divorced and the court awards it to one or the other. You could also be looking at liability for her car as that is a "necessity of life." You really should visit with a lawyer about filing for divorce and your rights and responsibilities.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/4/2015
    Law Office of Barton R. Resnicoff | Barton R. Resnicoff
    Just because she moved doesn't mean she waived her rights to her equitable share of the martial property. As part of a divorce, whatever was acquired during the marriage should be equitably distributed. Is the former marital residence a owned or rented. Was it acquired before the marriage or during it? Same questions concerning the personal property. If you both work maintenance should not be at issue.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/4/2015
    Provda Law Firm
    Provda Law Firm | Bruce Provda
    When the divorce is in settlement the assets will be divided up pretty much 50/50. Obviously you two can agree on certain things. You should not get rid of any assets at this juncture. Discuss this with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/4/2015
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida | Dennis J. Leffert, J.D.
    All property during a marriage should be considered ?marital property? and subject to division 50 x 50. It sounds as if Mediation may be of benefit to you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/4/2015
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