Can an ex-husband throw out his adult children’s belongings?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an ex-husband throw out his adult children’s belongings?

My ex-husband verbally agreed to store my adult sons’ belongings bedroom set and tools in his garage until they move to an apartment in 2 months. New Link Destination
day he notified me that in 2 weeks he will be putting their things out on the lawn. They have nowhere to store these items and have no money at this time for uhaul and storage. Can he legally do this?

Asked on May 18, 2017 under Family Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the property in which their  belongings are stored is solely the ex-husband's, he has the right to decide whether he will store anything in it and for how long. He therefore has the right to give  your sons notice that he will not continue to storing their belongings and that they have to either retrieve them or he will put them outside for pick-up and disposal. The fact that the sons may have no place to store them and no money to rent storage, etc. is irrelevant: their need does not give the right to keep their belongings in his property. So he can do this.
If you are also on the title of the property at which the belongings are stored, you could prevent him from doing this: either owner of  property can allow other people to use the property or store things there.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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