One common factor in every Massachusetts divorce is that someone has to move out of the house, though who moves out, when, and why may vary from case to case. While separating might be best, reducing the odds of conflict, it can be a costly change and lead to confusion about what items of personal property you can and cannot take.
For the one who moves out of the marital home, the question of what items can come with him or her often arises. There’s typically no dispute that “personal” items, such as clothing, toiletries, books, and other small things, go with the person. The same goes with separate property, those items that you owned previously and brought into the marriage.
Though personal goods, separate property, and even small items around the house may not be controversial, things can get much trickier when dealing with larger, more valuable items. For example, furniture, electronic equipment, artwork, and other collectibles are often limited in number, meaning couples may very well disagree over who gets what. So what happens when you disagree over these things?
First, you need to consider whether a judge has already weighed in on the matter. If there is a Court Order in place preventing the removal of items from the house or enforcing the status quo, then you should not violate it. If there is no such order in place or if your divorce case has not yet begun, you have the right to take whatever property you want, within reason.
That being said, this property is still in dispute, and you should understand that anything you take will likely be subtracted from your final share of the property division. As a result, be sure to document and keep careful records (including photographs or video) of what you take and what items remain, so it can be referenced later on if needed.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.