Does my ex-husband have a right to throw personal belongings out after 6 months?

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Does my ex-husband have a right to throw personal belongings out after 6 months?

I moved out in 02/1; our divorce was finalized in 06/10. I have been trying to contact him for weeks, and when I finally got a hold of him just the other day, he told me that he threw all my personal belongings out as well as my daughters (jewelry, some furniture, clothing, pictures, kitchen appliances, toys, bike, scooter, etc). Is there any certain amount of time he has to keep this? Am I at fault for not getting it earlier? Can I take him to court?

Asked on December 8, 2010 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

All of the answers to your questions really depend on if you included provisions requiring him to keep your belongings while the divorce proceedings were going on, whether you had time and opportunity to take the items and if you simply left.  If you simply left and waited to file divorce, it may be construed as abandoned property and some states only require someone to hold onto something for about 30 days or up to 6 months depending the situation. You may wish to contact your divorce attorney and see if you can be compensated or the divorce order and support order be amended to include the fair market value of items thrown out. Were there communications between all of you with each other about these items? If so, you may have a case but you need to talk to an attorney about it before moving forward with a civil suit for compensation.


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