Responsibility For Storing Personal Items

I obtained my absolute divorce in March, and I am now living out of state while I prepare the jointly owned home for sale. My ex still has many personal items in the house, which I have gathered and have tried to get her to take. She does not currently have room in her apartment to just take the items directly. These items are making it more and more inconvenient to complete the cleaning and repairs I need to do, and I am wondering what my legal responsibility is to protect them. At some point, the house is going to be sold…can I set a deadline for her to reclaim these items? I have offered moving them to a storage facility and paying for the first month but she has not responded. What are my options?

Refer to your separation agreement or equitable distribution court order about personal property items. Oftentimes a separation agreement or court order will set a deadline for one party to remove their things and/or will instruct the other party on what to do with the things belonging to the other spouse until the other spouse can retrieve them.

If your separation agreement or equitable distribution court order is silent as to these things, or you do not have a separation agreement or court order, then you can set a deadline for your ex-wife to retrieve these things. Without a separation agreement or court order, you don’t have a responsibility to store her things for her.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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