My husband and I moved to Maryland in 2006, leaving our house with most of our belongings in North Carolina, in order to make enough money to get rid of debt that was caused by a failing business. We separated in October of 2012, both of us still residing in Maryland. We had agreed on how we would divide everything though we have yet to put it in writing. He has just informed me that he is in the process of having a contract written up in North Carolina that will get my name off of the house (he said that there is a law that allows for the real property to be divided during the separation). He has also told me that he is moving all of our belongings to his fathers house and going to rent-to-own our house to his brother. I told him that I did not want him to move the property ( I feel that I should be allowed to go retrieve my belongings) and that I would only sign an agreement that encompassed all aspects of the separation/divorce, not just a contract that pertains to the real estate. I feel that he is moving the property for leverage so that he maintains control. Am I within my legal rights to go get my things(some of the property belonging to me before we were married)? If I do go to get my things and find that he has already moved everything, what legal recourse do I have?
Yes, you have every right to go take the property from the house. Your separate property is yours to do with as you like, but in the event that the parties are unable to come to an agreement about the full division of marital property, any marital assets would be subject to a claim for equitable distribution, regardless of which party’s possession the assets are in.
If he moves them without your permission, and you are not able to come to an amicable resolution, you will need to file an action for equitable distribution to have the court order that your separate assets be returned to you and that the marital assets be divided.