Taking Joint Assets

I’m in a bad situation and need to leave soon. My wife has symptoms of BPD and has turned over girls (13 & 7) against me. She refuses to sell the house, and I can’t afford to pay for another place and pay the mortgage. She does not work.
I’m thinking to pick a day when she’s out for several hours and move all my stuff out, half of the furniture and all the childrens’ boxes of memories including all our family photo albums. Not to permanent keep these last two items, but for leverage to get my wife to sell the house & sign a separation agreement.
What feedback can anyone give me on this - taking items for leverage ?

You are entitled to take up to one half of the marital property upon your departure. I am not sure this is an effective way to gain leverage, it may cause your spouse to file an action against you in order to retrieve certain items of property.

Be very careful about such manoeuvers as they could come back to bite you in the form of giving her fodder to play the victim, which BPD sufferers commonly do in the course of separation and divorce as a means of getting control and leverage to help offset the feelings of abandonment that they may have. The additional benefit for them, is that playing the victim often gives them the attention from others that they so crave and which makes them feel wanted/needed which equates to bolstering their poor self-esteem.

If you do decide to take the photo albums, I would scan in all the photos at high resolution (300dpi or more), and save to DVD or your computer hard drive then send 1/2 the originals back. (If you don’t have the capability to scan photos yourself, there are businesses that can do it for you.) It gives you plausibility in that you simply wanted to ensure that you got copies of everything, and as a gesture of good faith, you can send her a DVD or CD of the scanned photos that you didn’t give back. It’ll play much better in court, if it goes there.