Can I have my belongings?

Do you have a separation agreement or equitable distribution claim stating what items are yours? If you do not have a separation agreement then you could contact the local law enforcement to see if they may assist you in removing your clothing and other personal items from the home, but I’m not sure if that would work without showing what items, except the clothing, are yours. I would make sure that you have notified your STBX that this is going to take place and when. If either of you have an attorney, work through their offices instead to make sure that your personal belongings do not get damaged or destroyed. Contact an attorney and file equitable distribution claim, since it seems as though most of the items were in your possession prior to the marriage they may not be considered marital property, but I could be wrong on that.

Also, I want to ask about transportation. I’ve heard that he is in a position to provide transportation for the children. We had two vehicles during our marriage, not even sure if either was ever in my name (almost certain that’s been changed by now, if ever the case) and obviously if he thinks i’m not “entitled to my clothes” than he REALLY thinks i’m not “entitled to a vehicle” What’s your take on this? Thanks so much for your help. I’m barely getting by on one income and two children; seeking legal advice seems too expensive for me right now.

With equitable distribution you and your STBX will split all marital property, you are entitled to 50%. Marital property includes all assets and debts aquired during the marriage. If a car had your name on it, legally I don’t think he can change that alone without your signature, same with deed or mortgage. Your clothes and personal belongings really need to be removed from the residence since everything else can be settled with ED claim. If there is a car in your name then you are most certainly entitled to it. When you go to pick up your personal belongings, if you are taking a law enforcement officer with you, ask him the names on the car registration and if one is yours then take it with you. Make sure the other car does not have your name on it though as he could ruin you finacially if he does not pay. Also, you could check with the bank you two used to find out if there is a car loan or whatever in your names. ANYTHING that has your name on it is 1/2 yours.
I would really suggest talking to an attorney and finding out what your options are though.

Dear Leigh Leigh:

Greetings. If your husband has forbidden you to return to the marital residence, then you cannot or you will be committing domestic criminal trespass which is a crime. If he has not told you that you cannot come back, then you can go back if both of your names are on the mortgage/deed/lease. You still have a legal interest in your property, but you may need to go through the courts to get it back. So, yes, even if you left you are entitled to your separate property and half of the marital property and you may need to go through the courts to enforce your rights. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My husband and I have been separated since February 2006 and I have sent repeated letters to him (hand delivered during switching of children) concerning my belongings that I want/need. He refuses to give my stuff to me (clothes, keepsakes, etc) because I was the one that initially left the home. I’ve heard that I am still allowed legally to go to our home and get my belongings being we are not actually divorced. Is this true? Some of the property was purchased by me before our marriage. I brought nearly everything into the marriage (being I was on my own for years before) like the furniture, etc. (he moved out of his parents’ home when we married) and brought only a few things. I tried to leave behind enough for the children to remain “comfortable” when staying with him, but still have things there (stuff given to me by my parents, handmade heirlooms, etc) that I really want. Is there anything that can be done? Even if I am the one who left him?